Proposed 2015 national budget gives priority to social services

By on August 1, 2014

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MANILA — The biggest share of the proposed 2015 National Expenditure Program, amounting to P967.9 billion, will go to the government’s social services, a Palace official said on Thursday.

The figure covers 37.2 percent of the proposed P2.606 trillion budget for next year that was submitted to Congress on Wednesday for ratification, said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. during a press briefing in Malacañang.

“The budget also focuses on delivering high-impact projects in 44 provinces with the following characteristics: those with high poverty magnitude where more job opportunities will be created; those with high poverty incidence that require adequate social safety nets; and those which are vulnerable to natural calamities,” Coloma said.

Social services include basic education and universal health care. The provision for education covers the construction of 31,728 classrooms and 13,586 water/sanitation facilities, as well as the acquisition of 1.3 million classroom chairs, among others.

Economic services, meanwhile, will have a 26.9 percent cut of the national budget totalling P700.2 billion, while general public services will get 16.2 percent amounting to P423.1 billion.

National defense will receive 4.4 percent or P115.4 billion.

Coloma further noted that the 2015 budget enhances the government’s accountability for the results of public spending.

He said that in the 2014 budget, the performance targets were pegged against the outputs or tangible goods and services that the agencies must deliver, while the proposed budget for 2015 includes indicators for outcomes.

“We continue to implement the basic management principle that each peso that the government spends must be tightly linked to measurable results,” Coloma quoted President Benigno S. Aquino III as saying in his 41-page budget message.

“Hence, this budget does not only show how many households or families, for example, will benefit from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), but it also discloses how many of these beneficiaries will actually be lifted from the level of survival to a level of subsistence, and eventually to a level of self-sufficiency,” Coloma explained.

In his budget message, the President emphasized that the proposed 2015 budget expands with the economy and supports further economic expansion; focuses on the imperatives of inclusive development; prioritizes the needs of the poor and vulnerable localities; increases the people’s voice in the use of their taxes; increases the government’s accountability for the results of public spending; supports the rapid and effective delivery of public services; and enhances the health of government’s finances.