President Aquino scrapped 2 programs with a total budget of P8B. These are Kilos Asenso and Kalayaan Barangay programs set to assist local government units for their development projects. This allocation is on top of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), thus considered unnecessary by the opposition leaders.
These programs will be replaced with other programs like the conditional cash transfers and the LGU performance incentive fund under the Department of the Interior and local Government, according to the Department of Budget and Management briefing material handed out by the Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
PDAF allocations now pegged at P22.3billion, would “incorporate both the hard (roads, bridges, etc) and soft (scholarships, grants, etc.) components of the program.”
“The (PDAF) menu will be limited to the priority programs of the administration and publictin requirements will be mandated from the implementing departments to publish the details and status of the projects in the website,” the DBM said.
While budgets for modernization of Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Unification Fund, and the Premium Subsidy to indigents are integrated into the budgets of Department of National Defense, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, and the Department of Health respectively.
Budget for the government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) will be cut to half.
The budget for the procurement of new government vehicles, creation of new government positions and the like were also slashed out.
“We want to show to the world that once again, the Philippines is open for business, for attractive investments anchored on good governance, with the assurance that it is good for doing business,” Abad said. “We want to make a statement to the entire bureaucracy that we would be very judicious in our expenditures. From the very start, President Aquino has reminded us to be more frugal and be conscious of the huge budget deficit that we inherited.”
The 2011 P1.645trillion proposed national budget is an obligation budget according to Abad. “We have continued to adopt measures to bring down the expenditure level,” he said.
“We have reforms in the budget, which for the last nine years have been misused and abused. A few items we have discussed in the course of the briefing this morning,” Sen. Drilon said.
Some lawmakers though are opposed in reducing the 2011 national budget.
“I’m just wondering. There’s a high projected growth for the country this year and there is semblance of high cooperation from all sectors as well as greater transparency, so now is the best time to spend because money will be spent wisely,” Senior Deputy Minority Leader Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez said.