Palace seeks P1.4 trillion nat'l budget for 2009
Manila (27 August) -- Malacanang will forward to Congress today the proposed P1.4 trillion national budget for 2009.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo told Palace reporters last Monday night that she signed the budget proposal Sunday night.
The 2009 proposed budget is about 15 percent higher than the P1.227-trillion budget for this year.
She said the proposed budget would address not only the world food and fuel crises but also the funding requirements of the government's priority programs -- environment, education and economy.
Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier said the proposed 2009 budget would set the deficit ceiling at P40 billion, or half a percentage point of the gross domestic product (GDP), compared to only one percent of GDP this year.
Roads, bridges and other public works, along with the farm sector, schools, social welfare and the government's health insurance program, would be the major recipients of the 2009 general appropriations.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said the Palace has adopted a new policy for the new budget called "performance budgeting."
He explained that the idea of a performance-based budgeting policy was "those who perform well-such as departments that were able to implement projects based on the 2008 funding-will naturally get more resources and those who have the absorptive capacity to spend, chances are will get more resources as well."
Agriculture, public works and highways, and education will be among the "major recipients" of additional budget next year in keeping with the commitments that the President set out in her 8th state of the nation address (SONA).
The social welfare department and PhilHealth, the state medical insurance program, will also be getting a large share of the budget.
President Arroyo said it would be "desirable" if Congress could approve the proposed 2009 national budget by December, but added that her administration has "lived for many years without the budget being signed in December."
For the past two years, Congress failed to enact the proposed outlay, forcing the government to operate under a reenacted budget for the first quarter. (PIA-MMIO) [top]