DBM Details 2013 Proposed Budget

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration's proposed budget for next year will address poverty, foster inclusive economic growth and empower citizens, especially the poor, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Monday.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said that 34.8 percent or P698.4 billion of the P2.006-trillion proposed budget has been earmarked for social services, higher by 14 percent compared with this year's P613.4-billion funding.

Abad said the increase in budget support would lessen the resource gaps in basic education by next year and improve the coverage of 5.2 million poor households under the National Health Insurance Program.

Abad also said that the government plans to construct at least 103,000 affordable housing units for informal settlers in danger zones, for soldiers, policemen and other uniformed personnel next year.

The coverage of 3.8 million indigent households under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will likewise expand, Abad said.

Meanwhile, the economic services will get a 25.5 percent share in next year's proposed budget or P510.9 billion, higher by 16 percent compared with P439 billion this year. The government expects the country's economy would grow by 6 percent to 7 percent in 2013.

Abad said the economic allocation will support the rehabilitation and concreting of all primary roads by 2014 and all secondary roads and bridges by 2016 and the production of 20 million metric tons of palay to attain rice self-sufficiency by next year.

The government also plans to attain of 5.53 million tourist arrivals by next year and 10 million by 2016 as well as the distribution of 360,000 hectares of lands under agrarian reform by 2013.

However, the share of debt servicing in the proposed budget will decline to P333.9 billion next year from P333.1 billion in 2012 due to decreasing interest payment costs and improving revenue effort.

The government's fiscal deficit in 2013 is expected to decrease to 2 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to P241 billion in nominal terms from 2.6 percent or P279.1 billion this year.

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