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Marcos OKs proposed P5.8T budget for 2024

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the government's P5.768 trillion spending plan for 2024, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced Friday.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said the plan was approved during a recent Cabinet meeting and will be forwarded to Congress before the President delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) next month.

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Contributed Photo
PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Contributed Photo

The 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) is equivalent to 21.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and is 9.5 percent higher than this year's P5.268 trillion budget.

Under the plan, the government will “continue to prioritize expenditures that will sustain economic growth, bearing in mind inclusivity and sustainability, consistent with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, and the administration's 8-point socioeconomic agenda,” Pangandaman said in a statement.

It will also address “the scarring effects of the pandemic, as well as the impact of inflation, by prioritizing shovel-ready investments in infrastructure projects, investments in human capital development, and sustainable agriculture and food security, among others,” Pangandaman said.

The “overarching goal” is to bring down the deficit to 3 percent of GDP and ease the poverty rate to 9 percent or single digit by 2028, she said.

Budget proposals from all departments were “thoroughly evaluated” based on their budget utilization rates in the past years, and the alignment of their programs, activities and projects (PAPs) with the priorities outlined in the Budget Priorities Framework, Pangandaman noted.

“Due to the limited fiscal space, we optimized the allocation of resources by ensuring that the PAPs that will be budgeted are implementation-ready, and must be delivered and executed on time. This entails that the agency proposals considered are clear, comprehensive, and complete in terms of submitted supporting documents such as feasibility studies and annual procurement plans,” she said.

Each agency's absorptive capacity was considered, since a low budget utilization rate “may reflect the agency's limited capacity to utilize additional funds,” Pangandaman said.

“Since this proposed National Budget is approved by the President, it already becomes the President's Budget. … Any adjustments in the proposed amounts will result in a zero-sum game where one agency's gain will be equivalent to another agency's loss; or one project's gain is another project's loss,” she said.

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