Abad: Sustained “Paggugol na Matuwid” to achieve fiscal consolidation

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad has disclosed that spending on social services and on infrastructure will get a significant boost in the proposed National Budget for 2012, consistent with President Aquino’s Social Contract with the Filipino People.

Abad said the 2012 expenditure plan—which will increase from 8 to 12 percent year-on-year—will remain consistent with the government’s fiscal consolidation efforts, reducing the fiscal deficit from 3.2 percent of gross domestic product this year to 2.6 percent in 2012.

“The social services sector will continue to receive the lion’s share of more than 30 percent of the national budget, or more than P500 billion. To support escalated efforts for social protection, basic education and public healthcare, the sector will receive a budgetary increase of 8 to 12 percent,” he said. “To support rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth, the economic services sector will receive about a quarter of the total budget, or more than P400 billion. In particular, infrastructure and other capital spending will be increased by more than 20 percent.”

At the same time, Abad said that the share of the debt burden in the national budget will be reduced by about 2 to 4 percentage points from 22.6 percent in 2011.

Abad announced these after the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) held a meeting on the 2012 national budget on Saturday. Absolute figures may only be released to the public after President Benigno S. Aquino III and the Cabinet’s approval of the proposed 2012 Budget, which will be submitted to Congress after the State of the Nation Address on July 26.

The Budget Secretary said the proposed 2012 national budget will achieve greater funding focus on the five Key Result Areas (KRAs) of the Aquino Social Contract:

• Anti-corruption, and transparent, accountable and participatory governance;

•  Poverty reduction and empowerment of the poor;

•  Rapid, equitable and sustained economic growth;

•  Just, inclusive and lasting peace and the rule of law, and;

• Integrity of the environment, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The zero-based budgeting approach was used to reduce or even eliminate funding for programs and projects that were identified to be irrelevant, inefficient or unaligned with the KRAs.

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