By Sharlaine Kate Gumayat

House Speaker Martin Romualdez on Friday, August 26, pledged open and transparent deliberations for the 2023 planned budget amounting to P5.268 trillion, the highest spending proposal ever sent to Congress.

Photo Courtesy of BusinessMirror/PNA

Romualdez referred to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) bill as a "unity national budget" during the deliberations of the House committee on appropriations, which shall fall under the General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

“We will make sure that each bit of spending will contribute to our goal of reigniting the fires of our economic forges, and at least propel the country to reach economic growth at pre-pandemic levels,” he stated.

The speaker also urged his colleagues to actively engage in crafting the national budget, which would be in accord with the eight-point economic agenda laid out in the government’s Medium-Term Fiscal Framework.

The budget presents the top priority sectors of the Marcos administration, including education, infrastructure development, health, agriculture, and social safety nets.

As mandated by the 1987 Constitution, the DBM assured that the education cluster has the largest allocation, while food security will receive more emphasis on the increase of production and minimized costs associated with transport, logistics, and energy to protect the purchasing power of the consumers.

Moreover, Romualdez called on his fellow lawmakers to “buckle down to work” to provide the necessary tools and resources in improving the lives of the Filipino people and uplift their hope for a better quality of life.

"The challenges ahead of us may be daunting, and we shall rely on the brilliance of this administration’s economic team to usher us in sustaining the economic progress achieved by its predecessor,” the house speaker said.

Meanwhile, this year’s budget season in Congress is anticipated in the upcoming weeks as heads of several government agencies will visit the House and address their respective budgets.

Edited by Audrei Jeremy Mendador