MANILA -- The Department of Budget and Management said it submitted on Tuesday the P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020 to lawmakers, as it moved to ensure its timely passage.
The budget proposal, which is 12 percent higher compared to the previous year was submitted to the House of Representatives early Tuesday. A copy will be turned over to the Senate later in the day, the DBM said.
President Rodrigo Duterte said in his budget message that next year's spending plan "will aim to build on the fruits and gains of the previous annual expenditure programs."
The government operated on a reenactment of the 2018 budget from January this year until the 2019 budget was signed last April. The delay slowed spending and dragged gross domestic product growth lower in the first half.
The 2020 budget proposal includes P166.5 billion for Universal Health Care, P108.8 billion for the 4Ps or conditional cash transfers for the poor, P70.6 billion to develop the newly created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, P10 billion for the rice farmers' assistance and P641.6 million for the initial operations of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.
Budget hearings with economic managers at the House will start on Thursday. A majority caucus is also scheduled on Wednesday, a public holiday, said Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
"We will work day and night," Cayetano said, adding the executive department's "stronger" ties with the house would make the budget process "less tedious."
The so called "pork barrel" will be a "thing of the past," Cayetano said.