Congress approves 2016 budget: Defense allocation funding AFP modernization included
The House of Representatives on Friday approved on third and final reading the proposed PHP 3.002 trillion national budget for 2016 that has been touted to continue to expand the national economy and sustain governance and budget reforms that the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III has instituted in the last five years. The approval of the proposed 2016 national expenditure program on Friday was made possible after Malacañang certified the measure as urgent. The certification allowed the chamber to pass the measure on second and third reading on the same day.
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With its passage at the House of Representatives, the proposed 2016 budget would now be transmitted to the Senate. House Bill 6132, or the General Appropriations Bill of 2016, was passed in plenary session by nominal voting – with 230 lawmakers voting for its approval, 20 against and no abstentions.
Next year’s proposed budget is 15.2 (PHP 396 billion) percent higher from the current year’s budget of PHP 2.606 trillion. By departments, the Department of Education (DepEd) again garnered the highest allocation with PHP 435.8 billion – an increase of 15.4 percent from this year’s budget of PHP 377.7 billion. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) got the second highest allocation with PHP 394.5 billion or an increase of PHP 90.4 billion (29.7 percent) from this year’s budget of PHP 304.1 billion.
The Department of National Defense (DND) came in third at PHP 172.7 billion with an increase of PHP 18.6 billion than this year’s allocated budget. The defense allocation will fund the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Rounding up the top ten in highest allocations are the Departments of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) with PHP 154.5 billion; Health (DOH) with PHP 128.4 billion; Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) with PHP 104.2 billion; Agriculture (DA) with PHP 93.4 billion; Finance (DOF) with PHP 53.3 billion; Transportation and Communications (DOTC) with PHP 49.3 billion; and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with PHP 25.8 billion.