MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the proposal for the 2020 national budget worth Php4.1 trillion.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed the president’s approval of the proposal for next year’s cash-based national budget during the Cabinet meeting on Monday, August 5. This marks the end of the preparation stage of the national budgeting process.

The Php4.1-trillion budget is 12 percent higher than this year’s Php3.7-trillion national budget.

Malacañang has yet to declare when the budget proposal will be transmitted to Congress, although it has until August 21 to do so.

Last year, the President submitted the proposed Php3.7-trillion national budget for 2019 to Congress on the same day he delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA). A budget impasse however resulted in a reenacted budget as the President was able to sign the national budget only on April 15, 2019.

The Palace hopes that next year’s budget will be approved on time. Panelo described the budget proposal as one that would “respond to the needs” of majority of Filipinos.

“This budget proposal is designed to respond to the needs of the majority of our countrymen longing to be uprooted from decades of want for basic necessities, inadequate supply of basic services, lack of infrastructure required to spur economic growth, absence of accountability on government coffers, vexing bureaucratic rigmarole, deprived education and unchanged poverty, and geared to achieve a more peaceful and progressive Philippines where the living standards of Filipinos are raised,” Panelo said.

He assured the public that the budget’s biggest share will be allotted to education. Public works, transportation, and health will also be given their due share of the budget.

Photo Courtesy: King Rodriguez/ABS-CBN News

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