MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, December 19, signed into law the General Appropriations Act (GAA) contaning the P3.767-trillion 2018 budget.
In his speech during the ceremonial signing, Duterte described the bill as the “Biggest Christmas gifts for the Filipino people” as it contained the budgets for the administration’s infrastructure program, free tertiary education, free irrigation, among others.
This is the second under his administration.
Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 10964 alongside the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act or RA No. 10963.
The budget is described as “a budget that reforms and transforms”.
The 2018 budget represents Duterte’s nationwide infrastructure develoment program which features his ‘Build, Build, Build” agenda.
The 3.767-trillion budget is the Philippines’ largest budget to date, 12.4% higher than the 2017 national budget and 25.5% higher than the 2016 budget; it amounts to 21.6 percent of GDP.
The Department of Budget and Management stated that the budget will support the government’s objectives of achieving robust and inclusive growth of 7 to 8 percent in 2018.
The national budget spells the government’s appropriations for the next calendar year which was approved by the Senate and the Congress.
Members of the Finance Committee of the Senate led by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and the Congress led by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez were present during the
ceremonial signing.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph
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