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President Arroyo Signs 2010 Philippine Budget Special

By Antonio Figueroa     Feb 9, 2010 in Politics
MANILA – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed today the 2010 national budget, which pegs this year’s government spending at P1.541 trillion ($32.8 billion, U.S.), up by eight percent compared to last year’s general appropriation.
In a statement, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said the budget, which includes the expenditures for social services and infrastructure, was partly vetoed by the President who rejected the provision reallocating P64.6 billion ($1.37 billion, U.S.) from the proposed interest payments to numerous projects that have no sources of funding.
Getting the biggest slices of the budget pie are the Department of Public Works and Highways with P174.9 billion ($3.72 billion, U.S.), followed by the Department of Education with P135.6 billion ($2.86 billion, U.S.), the Department of the Interior and Local Government with P66.45 billion ($1.42 billion, U.S.), and the Department of National Defense with P57.84 billion ($1.22 billion, U.S.).
“Without new revenue measures,” Andaya said, “the executive branch will have no cash support for the items of appropriations introduced by members of Congress,” adding that financing the deleted insertions through borrowings would raise the government’s deficit to P358 billion ($7.61 billion, U.S.), or 4.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The secretary said the budget also absorbs this year’s P233.4 billion ($4.97 billion, U.S.) budget deficit, the equivalent of 2.8% of the GDP, adding that the government would continue to pursue fiscal stimulus policies even as it expected the economy to grow by between 2.6% to 3.6%.
Moreover, the government, which is expecting lower collections this year from traditional revenue and customs sources, is also planning to borrow $4.953 billion (U.S.) from foreign sources through loans derived through overseas development aids (ODA).
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