Philippine leader signs $49 bn anti-poverty budget

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday signed into law a 2.005 trillion-peso ($49 billion) budget for 2013, vowing to use higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol to boost programmes to reduce poverty.

Education, health, agriculture and a cash-transfer scheme for the poor are the key priorities of the appropriations, which are 10.5 percent higher than the 2012 national budget, he said during the signing ceremony.

"We designed this budget as an instrument to give the common man the power to control and improve his life," Aquino said.

He thanked parliament for passing earlier this month a controversial rise in "sin taxes" on tobacco and alcohol products, which is expected to bring in over $800 million in extra revenues next year.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the budget law includes 44.2 billion pesos for "conditional cash-transfer", up 12 percent from this year.

The three-year-old scheme gives up to $34 a month to the poorest families who meet certain criteria, like keeping their children in school and getting them as well as pregnant family members regularly to visit government health clinics.

Government officials say this gives their children a better opportunity to climb out of destitution.

More than 26 percent of the Philippines' population of about 100 million are deemed by the government to be living in poverty.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Ayungin dilemma Ramon Casiple - Parallaxis
    Ayungin dilemma

    China faces a dilemma in Ayungin Shoal and other contested areas. If it waits for the ITLOS—which may decide against it—it would have tacitly bound itself to UNCLOS and risk a rogue state reputation if it asserts its claim in the South China Sea. If its militarily acts now, it may face international isolation. …

  • 48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao VERA Files - The Inbox
    48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao

    By Jake Soriano, VERA Files Bongao, Tawi-tawi—A team of Marines and policemen intercepted around noon Thursday 48 people, 12 of them minors, believed recruited by a human trafficking syndicate for work in Malaysia. The arrest constitutes what advocates called the … Continue reading → …

  • Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Leaders of the medical profession have made peace with their former adversary, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and joined forces in a campaign to get doctors to pay the right taxes. BIR Commissioner … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options