Palace confident of having new budget by Jan. 1

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

MALACAÑANG on Saturday expressed confidence the proposed P2.26-trillion budget for next year will be passed into law before the end of the year.

In an interview over state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that this will maintain the Aquino administration’s streak of having the budget signed into law before yearend.

“Mataas ang ating kumpiyansa sa pakikipagtulungan ng dalawang kamara ng Kongreso at ehekutibo, magaganap ang layunin tulad ng unang tatlong taon, maisasaganap at maisasabatas ang pambansang budget bago matapos ang taon para maging epektibo sa unang araw ng 2014,” he said.

The budget bill was earlier passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Under the present administration, President Benigno Aquino III had signed the budget bill into law before yearend, to ensure it goes into effect on the first day of the succeeding year.

Coloma said the 2014 budget has provided for social services especially for some 4.3 million families considered to be the poorest in the country.

He said this includes an improved conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to be implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The budget includes P12.3 billion to cover some 10.2 million youths aged 15 to 18 so they can finish high school and find decent work.

Another P2 billion aims to help thousands of families in the streets and 116,000 indigenous families who have no permanent address.

Coloma noted the CCT is being implemented in more than 1,600 towns and cities in 79 provinces.

He added it now covers more than 3.9 million families, including 1.6 million in Luzon, 1.4 million in Mindanao, and 801,293 in the Visayas.

Coloma said the budget includes P3.1 billion to provide P500 pension to each of some 479,000 senior citizens aged 77 and up. (SDR)

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