The Philippine government under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will propose the P5.268 trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2023 to Congress on Monday (August 23).
This higher budget proposal came just days after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced a 0.1 percent quarter-on-quarter contraction in economic output.
The budget proposal, as Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman described, focuses on “food safety and security and human capital and infrastructure development among other priority sectors.”
Next year’s budget, she added, “is anchored on the administration’s overarching goals of creating more quality and green jobs, reducing poverty incidence, promoting digitalization, and achieving an inclusive and resilient economy.”
The higher budget is possible thanks to higher revenue collections. Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno mentioned that revenues reached up to P1.7 trillion during H1 2022.
"Our revenues are on the rise, reflecting improvements in the labor market driven by robust economic activity. For the first half of 2022, total revenue collection reached P1.7 trillion, 16 percent higher than the same period in 2021,”: he said.
Diokno added, “This year, we expect revenue collection to already exceed its pre-pandemic level.” According to the preliminary report of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Financial Service for 2019, the government collected a grand total of P2.18 trillion – the year before the pandemic.
The 2023 NEP is 4.86 percent larger than the current year’s actual national budget of P5.024 trillion by former President Rodrigo Duterte on December 30, 2021. It is also 16.91 percent higher than the 2021 NEP worth P4.506 trillion.
Next year’s budget is limited to 22.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Traditionally, the General Appropriation Act (GAA) is signed by the president every December, just days before the new Fiscal Year begins.
Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.
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