By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte is set to submit the P3.767 trillion 2018 national budget proposal to Congress on his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) bared on Friday.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, during the Mindanao Hour press briefing Friday morning, said the submission of the proposed national budget during the SONA will be done for the first time.
“The President plans to submit the budget on the day of the SONA itself. So that’s a first time in Philippine history. Why are we doing this, so we can have an early start,” Diokno said.
According to Diokno, the biggest chunk of the proposed budget is granted to education and then to infrastructure development.
The 2018 budget represents 21.6 percent of the projected gross domestic product (GDP) for next year and is 12.4 percent higher than the 2017 budget which is P3.35 trillion.
The education sector still enjoys the highest budget allocation with P691.1 billion with the Department of Education (DepEd) getting P613.05 billion, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) P13.5 billion and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), P64.6 billion.
This budget will be used in establishing and maintaining education facilities, hiring teaching and non-teaching personnel, and develop and provide learning materials to students.
The proposed budget, according to Diokno, is also consistent with Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program to “usher in the golden age of infrastructure in the Philippines.”
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