MANILA–The 2013 national budget was approved on third and final reading on Wednesday. Fourteen senators voted for the passage of the P2.006-trillion national budget and  the lone negative vote was cast by Senator Joker Arroyo according to Senate Records.

 

The Senate approved the P2.006-trillion 2013 national budget on Wednesday.(Photo credit: flickr.com)

Senator Franklin Drilon who is the Senate Finance Committee Chairman and main sponsor of the budget said it will cover P698.4 billion for social services program, P510.9 billion for economic services and P333.9 billion for debt service. The budget is 10.5% higher than the P1.816 trillion budget this year.

The largest share amounting to P292.7 billion will go to the Department of Education.  The education budget for 2013 is 22.6% higher compared to its budget the previous year.  It will provide funding for education programs that will address the shortage of teachers and educational resources, as well as the lack of enough classrooms.

Senator Drilon in a statement said that the budget is directed to provide funding for public services.

Drilon added that it is expected to provide more jobs, better education, improved healthcare services and empowerment of the Filipino people in nation building.

Around 3.8 million poor families will benefit from the conditional cash transfer program in the 2013 which has been allotted P44.25 billion in 2013.  While the enrolment of 5.2 million poor families in PhilHealth were allotted P12.6 billion.

The second highest budget allocation of  P152.9 billion went to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), followed by the P121.6 billion budget for the Department of National Defense (DND).

Some P121.1 billion will go to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) will get P74.1 billion.

Other budget allocations: the Department of Health (DOH): P56.8 billion; the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD): P56.2 billion; Department of Transportation and Communication: P37.1 billion; Department of Finance: P33.2 billion and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR): P 23.7 billion.

Slightly higher than its budget of P2.595 billion last year the Office of the President will receive P2.7 billion for 2013. Congress will be allotted P9.8 billion and the Office of the Vice President will have P420.5 million. The Judiciary was allotted P17.7 billion.

During a bicameral committee conference the Senate and lower House will reconcile their versions of the 2013 budget. The President is set to sign the budget third week of December.