Marcos approves P6.352 trillion budget for 2025

MANILA. Cabinet meeting at Malacanang on Tuesday, July 2, 2024.
MANILA. Cabinet meeting at Malacanang on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. PCO photo

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, the proposed P6.352 trillion budget for 2025.

During a Cabinet meeting presided over by Marcos in Malacañang, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2025 National Expenditure Program (NEP), which aims to support the key pillars of the administration’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.

Marcos said priorities under the proposed 2025 national budget were for food security, social protection, healthcare, housing, disaster resilience, infrastructure, digital connectivity, and energization.

The Pillar 1 of the PDP 2023-2028 involves the development and protection of the capabilities of individuals and families.

It also involves the promotion of human and social development, reducing vulnerabilities and protecting people’s purchasing power, as well as increasing their income-earning ability.

“Since I’ve seen it before on the macro level, I think the priorities in terms of our proposed appropriations, upon addressing it, weighted our priorities properly in terms of appropriations,” the President said.

Under the approved NEP, the Department of Education, State Universities and Colleges, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development (Tesda), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of National Defense will get the lion’s share of the government’s appropriations.

Also among the government top priorities are social welfare, agriculture, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the judiciary and justice.

In terms of expense class, getting the biggest allocation are maintenance and other operating expenses followed by personnel services, capital outlays, and financial expenses.

Pangandaman said the availability of fiscal space, implementation and readiness of Program/Activity/Projects (PAPs), agency’s absorptive capacity, alignment with Budget Priorities Framework and PDP 2023-2028 were among those considered in crafting the 2025 NEP along with the Public Investment Program (PIP), Three-Year Infrastructure Program (TRIP), Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP) and Program Convergence.

Under the Pillar 2 of the PDP, the government aims to transform production of the nation’s sectors in a bid to generate more quality jobs and come up with competitive products.

It includes modernizing agriculture and agri-business, revitalizing the industry, and reinvigorating services.

Pillar 3 focuses on creating an enabling bureaucratic environment that involves practicing good governance and improving bureaucratic efficiency, ensuring macroeconomic stability and expanding inclusive and innovative finance, ensuring peace and security, enhancing administration of justice, expanding and upgrading infrastructure, accelerating climate action and strengthening disaster resilience.

The proposed budget for next year is 10.1 percent higher than this year’s allocation of P5.768 trillion.

Earlier, Pangandaman said the increase was due to the higher national tax allocation based on the past two revenue years, which went up because the economic activity following the Covid-19 pandemic is back.

She noted the 20 percent higher budget allocation for local government units from P871.38 billion in fiscal year 2024 to P1.03 trillion next year.

Also among the reasons for the higher budget for next year is the upcoming midterm elections in May, expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, and the recently signed law increasing the teachers’ allowance from P5,000 to P10,000.

The proposed 2025 NEP will be submitted to the Congress on July 29, a week after Marcos’ third State of the Nation Address. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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