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Palace welcomes passage of 2012 national budget

MANILA, Philippines (PNA) — Malacanang expressed elation over the passage of the 2012 national budget by the House of Representatives Friday night, saying this will mean better services to the people, more especially the poor.

“Happy po tayo na naipasa na on second reading yung budget po natin. According to RG Cruz, it was at 11:29 p.m. when the vote was entered,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during an interview Saturday over government-run dzRB Radio.

“I was also monitoring that and masaya po tayo that it was on-time. Nag-commit naman din po kasi ‘yung ating congressmen at talagang… Maganda kasi ang nangyari like last year, kung naaalala ninyo our budget was also passed on time so hindi po tayo nagre-reenact ng budget,” she added.

The House passed on second reading the proposed P1.816-trillion budget for the 2012 fiscal year that aims to continue to provide lifeline for the poor, and cut government expenditures for debt servicing.

Members of the House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 5023 or the General Appropriations Act of 2012 before midnight Friday following nine days of marathon plenary sessions.

According to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., the proposed 2012 budget anticipates the opportunities and threats that the economy might face in 2012 and at the same time supports the reforms that promote transparency in government.

The House will finally approve the budget in October and then transmit it to the Senate. It is expected to be ratified in November and signed into law by President Aquino before the Christmas break.

The Department of Education (DepEd) got the biggest appropriation with P238.8 billion or 15.2 percent higher than its current budget. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) comes next with P125.5 billion, followed by the Department of National Defense (DND) with P107.9 billion.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also got a big share with P101.4 billion, as well as the Department of Agriculture (DA) with P54.1 billion.

In terms of sectoral allocation, a bulk of the spending pie goes to social services with P575.8 billion or 31.7 percent, with economic services getting P438.9 billion or 24.2 percent.