15 Desember 2010

P104.7 bio for Defense Budget Ratified by House

15 Desember 2010

BRP Rajah Humabon (PF-11) - ex-US Cannon class, this frigate currently is the largest warship of of the Philippine Navy (photo : timawa)

Budget okay completed as House ratifies report

The House of Representatives yesterday ratified the proposed P1.645-trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2011, a day after the Senate approved a bicameral conference committee report that reconciled both chamber’s budget bill versions.

Next year’s outlay represents a 6.8% increase over the 2010 GAA of P1.54 trillion.

Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya (1st district), House appropriations committee chairman, said it was consistent with President Benigno S. C. Aquino III’s "objective of an economic growth geared towards the enhancement of public services."

Minority Leader Edcel C. Lagman (1st district, Albay), however, said the House’s approval of a "photocopied" version of the President’s original submission meant "effectively subverting the power of the Congress ... over the public purse as enshrined and mandated by the Constitution."

The lion’s share of the budget will go to the Department of Education, which gets P207.3 billion or an 18.5% increase from this year’s P175 billion.

Major allocations will also go to the Department of Public Works and Highways, P110.6 billion; Department of National Defense, P104.7 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government, P88.2 billion; Department of Agriculture, P37.7 billion; Department of Health, P33.3 billion; Department of Transportation and Communications, P32.3 billion; and the Department of Agrarian Reform, P16.7 billion. The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s P34.3-billion budget for this year was retained.

MalacaƱang officials have said President Benigno S. C. Aquino III would sign the measure into law before the year ends, ensuring that the government will have an operational budget at the start of 2011. -- NMG

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