DAVAO CITY – President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday signed the P3-trillion General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2016.
In a speech delivered after the signing ceremony at the Rizal Hall, Pres. Aquino thanked the Department of Budget and Management, as well as the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives for approving the national budget, which provides the biggest sectoral allocation to social services.
The 2016 national budget is 15.2 percent higher than the 2015 budget of P2.606 trillion.
Social services, which include housing, livelihood and community projects, account for P1.1 trillion or 36.8 percent of the budget, while economic services, which cover such areas as infrastructure, agriculture, transportation and communications, account for P829.6 billion or 27.6 percent.
The Department of Education led the top 10 agencies receiving the largest budget, with P436.5 billion, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (P400.4 billion), Department of National Defense (P175.2 billion), Department of Interior and Local Government (P154.5 billion), Department of Health (P128.5 billion), Department of Social Welfare and Development (P111 billion), Department of Agriculture (P94 billion), Department of Transportation and Communications (P48.5 billion), Department of Finance (P33.2 billion), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (P24.8 billion).
President Aquino said the education budget covers the building of 47,553 classrooms, the purchase of 103.2 million new textbooks, and the hiring of 79,691 teaching and non-teaching personnel.
Of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) budget, P62.7 billion will go to the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) that will benefit 4.6 million households; P4.3 billion for the Supplemental Feeding Program that will cover 2.2 million children in day-care centers; and P8.7 billion for the pension of 1.2 million senior citizens. (davaotoday.com)