Marcos orders incoming budget chief to prioritize his initiatives, projects

·Contributor
·2 min read
Philippine president-elect Ferdinand
Philippine president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, speaks during a news conference at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

President-elect Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. has instructed his incoming budget secretary to include his priority initiatives and projects in the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP).

In a statement released on Thursday (June 2), incoming Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said that she will draft a budget that will promote a “broad-based and inclusive economic recovery and growth.”

“President-elect Marcos's priority programs are in line with that,” Pangandaman noted.

According to Pangandaman, the Marcos would like to focus on the following areas:

  • Agricultural and food security

  • Climate change adaptation

  • Economic recovery

  • Improved healthcare and education

  • Enhanced infrastructure projects including digital infrastructure

  • Utilization of renewable energy sources

  • Strengthened tourism and jobs creation

  • Sustainable development

The incoming budget chief also said that Marcos’s entire economic team will meet soon.

Meanwhile, outgoing DBM officer-in-charge Tina Canda has earlier urged the incoming administration to observe the spending plan cap of P5.268 trillion, or around 22.1% of the country’s gross domestic product for 2023.

Canda said that the budget may be "tight," but the government needs to stick to that level "if we want to be respected in the international financial community."

The proposed budget under the NEP is accompanied by the President's Budget Message, which outlines the budget's policy focus and priorities, Pangandaman highlighted.

Under the constitution, the NEP must be submitted to Congress within 30 days from the opening of its regular session.

The House of Representatives will deliberate on the budget, while the Senate holds a parallel review. After that, the upper and lower chambers’ bicameral committee will reconcile both versions of the budget bill before sending it to Malacañang for the President's signature.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

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