The House of Representatives will start on Aug. 6 deliberations on the proposed P2.606 trillion national budget for 2015, which Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said is devoid of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations or any item specifying the post-identification of projects.
Belmonte led leaders of the House in receiving a copy of the proposed 2015 national spending program from Budget Secretary Florencio Abad last week. Abad said the 2015 proposed budget is 15.1 % higher from the current year's P2.265-trillion budget.
The 2015 budget proposal represents 18.4% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reflects a jump in the Administration’s growth assumption of 7.0 to 8.0 percent for 2015.
Belmonte, who is also the honorary chairman of the National Unity Party (NUP), pointed out that the 2015 proposed appropriations measure “does not contain PDAF.”
“There is no post budget identification of projects -- no such thing in the proposed 2015 national budget," said the Speaker.
The chairperson of the House appropriations committee, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, said the panel will immediately start the budget hearings on Wednesday, Aug. 6. "We still have to study the National Expenditures Program (NEP),” he said.
The Top 10 in terms of budget allocation are: Department of Education (DepEd), P364.958 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), P300.519 billion; Department of National Defense (DND), P144.036 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), P141.423 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P108.970 billion; Department of Health (DOH), P102.178 billion; Department of Agriculture (DA), P88.818 billion; Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), P59.463 billion; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), P21.290 billion; and Judiciary P20.285 billion.
In terms of sectoral allocation, social services, which include the provision of basic education and universal health care, will continue to get the lion’s share of the proposed 2015 budget. With P967.9 billion allocated to it, social services gets 37.1% of the budget pie, which is 15% higher than the P841.8 billion being currently spent for it under the 2014 expenditure program.
Economic services gets the second largest share in the 2015 budget at P700.2 billion, which accounts for 27 % of the proposed spending program for the next fiscal year. At least P339.4 billion in funds will bankroll various infrastructure programs, including the construction of national roads and integrated transport systems nationwide.