Marcos says 2025 budget aligned with gov’t priorities

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said that the proposed 2025 budget submitted to the Cabinet on Tuesday is broadly aligned with the administration’s development priorities.

In a statement issued by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), the Palace said the record P6.352-trillion spending plan also complies with the Constitutional requirement to set aside the largest allocations to education, while also earmarking significant funds for public works, health, defense, and local government set-asides.

Other major recipients were agriculture, social welfare, transportation, justice, and the Judiciary, the PCO said.

By expense category, maintenance and other operating expenses received the most funding, followed by personnel services, capital outlays, and financial expenses.

“Since I’ve seen it before on the macro level, I think the priorities in terms of our proposed appropriations, upon addressing it, weighted our priorities properly in terms of appropriations,” Mr. Marcos said during the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) presentation of the proposed budget to the Cabinet.

Under the Constitution, the President must submit its proposed budget to Congress 30 days after the State of the Nation Address. 

The government wants its spending plan passed before year’s end to ensure timely implementation of its projects in 2025 and sufficient funding for public services.

In a separate statement, the DBM said it allocated funding in part by giving priority to the readiness of agencies’ programs for implementation, as well as the agencies’ absorptive capacity.

The budget proposals were also determined with an eye towards the Public Investment Program/Three-Year Infrastructure Program, the Budget Priorities Framework, Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, and the Information Systems Strategic Plan.

The proposed fiscal year 2025 national budget seeks to continue fostering economic and social transformation for a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient future under the President’s vision of a Bagong Pilipinas,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said.

The P6.352-trillion budget is also anchored on three pillars of the PDP — to develop and protect the capabilities of individuals and families; to transform production to generate more quality jobs and competitive products; and to create an enabling environment, the DBM said.

It said the health allocations are intended to boost the operations of Department of Health hospitals in Metro Manila, regional hospitals, and other health facilities.

The budget also includes a National Tax Allotment for local government units of P1.034 trillion, as well as in the annual grant for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Next year’s proposed spending plan is 10.1% higher than this year’s P5.768-trillion budget. It is also equivalent to 22% of gross domestic product, Ms. Pangandaman said last week. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz