Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III is set to submit to Philippine Congress for its approval 3.002-trillion-peso (66.60 billion U.S. dollars) budget for next year, the biggest national expenditure program of the country ever, a senior government official said Monday.
Next year's proposed budget is 15.2 percent higher from the current budget of 2.606 trillion pesos (57.81 billion U.S. dollars) , and 19.5 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product, said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a statement.
The Department of Education receives the lion's share of the budget worth 436.5 billion pesos(9.68 billion pesos), followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with 401.14 billion pesos(8.90 billion U.S. dollars), the Department of National Defense, 172 billion pesos(3.82 billion U.S. dollars), the Department of Interior and Local Government, 156 billion pesos (3.47 billion U.S. dollars), the Department of Health (DoH), 128.5 billion pesos (2.86 billion U.S. dollars), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, 107.6 billion pesos(2.39 billion U. S. dollars).
"Among all the agencies in the Executive Department, the DPWH and DoH received the highest increases in their annual budgets at 32 percent and 25.2 percent, respectively, as part of efforts to boost public infrastructure development and support economic expansion as well as to improve health care services especially to the poor and most vulnerable sectors of society," Coloma said.
The proposed budget will be submitted to Congress on July 28, a day after Aquino's last State of the Nation Address.