Palace beats deadline for 2012 budget-A A +A
Monday, July 25, 2011
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III will submit the proposed 2012 National Budget on Tuesday, a day after his second State of the Nation Address (Sona), the first time the executive met its budget submission deadline in more than a decade.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that the last time the budget was submitted this early was on July 27, 1999 during the second Sona of former President Joseph Estrada.
The P1.816 trillion National Budget for 2012, higher by P171 billion or 10.4 percent over the current year’s P1.645-trillion National Budget, represents 16.5 percent of the projected gross domestic product (GDP).
It is based on a conservative growth assumption of 5.5 percent, even though the administration aims for a seven to eight percent growth.
On July 24, 2000, also under Estrada, the 2001 budget was submitted to Congress the same day he delivered his Sona. But it was not enacted and the previous year’s budget was reenacted.
During the Arroyo administration, the proposed budgets were most of the time submitted just a few days before the Constitutional deadline. Its earliest budget submission was on August 6, 2003 for the 2004 National Budget.
"Since the House leadership has agreed to begin its budget deliberations on August 1, there is a great chance that the 2012 General Appropriations Act will be approved before Christmas," Abad said.
The budget deficit is expected to be reduced to P286 billion or 2.6 percent of GDP, lower than this year’s target of P300 billion or three percent of GDP. This is in line with the goal to significantly reduce the budget deficit to two percent of GDP by 2013.
Abad stressed that the 2012 National Budget — the first budget that has been fully prepared and will be enacted and implemented under the Aquino administration — is a Results-Focused Budget that is focused on fulfilling President Aquino’s Social Contract with the Filipino People.
He said the proposed budget focuses on the following Social Contract priorities: anti-corruption and good governance, poverty reduction and the empowerment of the poor, inclusive economic growth, just and lasting peace and the rule of law and integrity of the environment. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)