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P3.7-T nat’l budget submitted July 24

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

President Duterte is set to submit the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018 to Congress during his second State-of-the-Nation Address on July 24, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said yesterday.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the submission of the proposed national budget during the SONA is the first time in history.

“The President plans to submit the budget on the day of the SONA itself. So that’s a first time in Philippine history. Why are we doing this, so we can have an early start for the 2018,” Diokno said during the Mindanao Hour press briefing yesterday.

According to Diokno, education and infrastructure development have the biggest chunk of the national budget.

The 2018 budget represents 21.6 percent of the projected Gross Domestic Product for next year and is 12.4 percent higher than the P3.35-trillion 2017 national expenditure.

Education has P691.1 billion with the Department of Education getting P613.05 billion, Commission on Higher Education, P13.5 billion; and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), P64.6 billion for the construction and maintenance of education facilities, hiring of teaching and non-teaching personnel, and development and provision of learning materials to students.

The Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Transportation have a proposed budget of P643.3 billion and P73.8 billion, respectively, which, according to Diokno, is consistent with Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program to “usher in the golden age of infrastructure in the Philippines.”