President Rodrigo Duterte certified the proposed P3.767 trillion national budget for 2018 as urgent “to ensure budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its Constitutional mandate.”
In a letter addressed to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte wrote to Congress certifying as urgent the legislative measure House Bill 6215, or “An Act Appropriating Funds for the Operation of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines from January One to December Thirty-One, Two Thousand and Eighteen, and for other purposes”, pursuant to his powers under Article VI, Section 26 (2) of the 1987 Constitution.
A portion of the Constitution reads: “No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency.”
Duterte said he signed “in order to address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year and to expedite the funding of various programs, projects and activities for FY 2018.”
Duterte submitted to Congress the proposed national budget for 2018, handing out copies of the proposed General Appropriations Act (GAA) after he delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Representing 21.6 percent of the projected gross domestic product for 2018, the proposed 2018 budget is 12.4 percent higher than 2017’s P3.35 trillion.
The budget department said the biggest chunk of the budget will be allocated to the education sector and the infrastructure development program called “Build, Build, Build,” in step with the government’s thrust to reduce poverty and promote economic growth.