A Quick Breakdown of the Proposed P5.3-Trillion 2023 National Budget
On Monday, August 22, the House of Representatives received the national government's proposed P5.268-trillion budget for 2023. House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who also happens to be President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s first cousin, obtained the copy from the Department of Budget and Management in what would be the administration's first.
This is the highest spending plan in Philippine history. With it, the Marcos administration's primary focus is boosting economic growth and addressing the poverty deficit, which had a rate of 18.1 percent in 2021. It also provides support for education, infrastructure, agriculture, and food security.
The budget translates into 22.2 percent of the Philippines' total economic output, and is up five percent from the Duterte administration's budget for last year. For the allocation, Marcos hopes to expand the country's economy by upwards of eight percent during his presidency. This should put us on par with some of Asia's fastest-growing nations
According to the World Bank, the country is on track to see the largest growth rate in Southeast Asia. The Philippines at 5.7 percent is followed by Malaysia at 5.5 percent, Vietnam at 5.3 percent, and Indonesia at 5.1 percent.
According to Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the higher budget proposal is made possible because of the country's strong year so far. In the first half of 2022, total revenue collection reached P1.7 trillion.
Running through the numbers
As always, education gets the highest budget allocation out of top admin priorities like infrastructure, food security, healthcare, and energy. It is set to receive P852.8 billion pesos, accounting for 16 percent of the country's total budget. Vice President Sara Duterte will be leading the Department of Education as Secretary.
Meanwhile, Public Works gets 13 percent at P1.196 trillion. Healthcare and social welfare each have five percent and four percent of the budget at their disposal, which gives them P296.3 billion and P197 billion.
In addition, the allotment for the Agriculture sector, which the President currently administers, will get a 40-percent bump from last year. It gets P184.1 billion. This was conceived in anticipation of the global food crisis, as well as for the administration to develop long-term food sufficiency in the country.
Marcos' presidency also focused on allotting P453.1 billion for climate change expenditures. The Department of National Defense gets a nine-percent increase, too, at P204.7 billion. P31 billion, on the other hand, has been allocated for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.
Romualdez said that the House hopes to finish the committee and plenary deliberations before October 1, 2022.