Arab Today, arab today philippine president signs 2014 budget
Last Updated : GMT 07:01:29
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Philippine president signs 2014 budget

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Philippine president signs 2014 budget

Manila - XINHUA

Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III signed Friday into law the 2.265 trillion pesos (50.99 billion U.S. dollars) budget for 2014. Aquino said this is the fourth straight year that the General Appropriations Act (GAA) has been approved on time. "Not only will we be able to undertake priority projects immediately; we are also closing loopholes that can lead to the abuse of power and to the abuse of our national coffers," Aquino said in his speech at the signing of the GAA in Malacanang, the presidential palace. The budget of the Philippine government for next year is 13 percent higher than the budget allocated for 2013. The Philippine government vowed to spend funds "judiciously" and has come up with a scheme in which an agency's overall budget is tied to specific standards of performance and service delivery. The budget for 2014 also no longer contains the so-called Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel funds which has been tagged as the source of corruption among lawmakers and politicians. Aquino said his government is increasing the budget for social services by more than 20 percent next year. He said the government has expanded the scope of its conditional cash transfer program and have allocated more funds for the construction and rehabilitation of more than 43,000 classrooms in 2014. To sustain the country's growth momentum, Aquino said the government has allotted 593.1 billion pesos to economic services sector. "Foremost among our priority allocations is infrastructure; an estimated 3.2 percent of our gross domestic product will go to our roads and bridges, ports and airports, farm-to-market roads and irrigation projects for us to achieve inclusive growth sooner," he said. Aquino said 10.7 billion pesos was allocated for the farming sector while 5.5 billion pesos was earmarked for Philippine tourism promotion.

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