The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the P2.606 trillion proposed general appropriations law for 2015, with social services continuing to take the largest part of the national budget pie.
With 198 congressmen voting in the affirmative and 18 in the negative, House Bill 4968, which details the proposed national budget for 2015, was passed on Wednesday night, Oct. 29, 2014.
Social protection and welfare services account for 37.1% or the lion’s share of the proposed budget, with an allocation of P967.9 billion. Economic services will receive P700.2 billion under the proposed expenditure program, while debt payments are allocated a budget of P399.4 billion, or 15.3 % of the proposed budget.
General public services have been allocated a budget of P423.1 billion, while defense spending is proposed to get P115.5 billion.
The proposed P2.606 trillion spending program is 15.1% higher than the current year’s P2.265 trillion budget. According to the Department of Budget and Management, the 2015 budget represents 18.4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and aims to realize the government’s growth assumption of 8 %, up from the initial projection of 7%, in 2015.
The final budgets of the Top 10 departments are:
1. Department of Education (DepEd) P365 Billion
2. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) P300.5 Billion
3. Department of National Defense (DND) P144 Billion
4. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) P141.1 Billion
5. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) P109 Billion
6. Department of Health (DOH) P102.2 Billion
7. Department of Agriculture P88.8 Billion
8. Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) P59.5 Billion
9. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) P21.3 Billion
10. Judiciary P20.3 Billion.
After the third reading in the House, the budget bill will be transmitted to the Senate for consideration.