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President Marcos Jr. Signs PHP 5.268-Trillion National Budget For 2023

December 20, 2022
Updated on December 20, 2022

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed the Republic Act 11936 or General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 which will provide PHP 5.268 trillion (USD 95.176 billion) of funds for the administration’s plans next year. President Marcos ratified the GAA during a ceremonial signing in Malacanang last December 16. The approval of the budget “came less than two weeks” after Congress signed the proposed spending plan in December 05.

The 2023 budget is 4.9 percent higher than this year’s spending allotment. Among the administration’s priority sectors for its national budget are education, public works, health, social welfare, agriculture, and transportation. The budget allotted for next year amounts to 22.2 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

President Marcos stated during the ceremony that the passage of the 2023 national budget is essential as it will serve as a roadmap of what the government plans to do next year. In August, it is reported that the PHP 5.268 trillion 2023 budget proposal is the “highest spending proposal” sent to Congress“.

In December 20, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the summary of GAA for Fiscal Year 2023. The top 10 departments have the outlined the following expenditure allotment

Top 10 Departments with Highest Budget Allotment

Summary of Fiscal Year 2023 New Appropriations (Amount, In Thousand Pesos)

The controversial PHP 150 million DepEd confidential funds was heavily criticized in August 2022 following the budget proposal presented to Congres

On October 04, Senator Risa Hontiveros criticized the proposed PHP 150 million confidential funds of the Department of Education, while the National Intelligence Coordination Agency (NICA) proposed PHP 141.2 million for its confidential and intelligence fund. The confidential fund was allegedly allocated for “surveillance activities for the security of students and teachers.” In Hontiveros’ press release, she revealed that DedEd’s breakdown of its confidential fund is higher than what the State’s intelligence agency asked for.

In an official statement dated September 2022, DepEd disclosed that its confidential expenses “are allowed for all civilian offices,” which also has “solid legal basis under DBM’s Joint Circular 2015-01.” It further clarified that unlawful acts such as “sexual abuse, graft and corruption, learner’s involvement in illegal drugs, pornography, gangsterism, scams” need the support of surveillance and intelligence for the protection of its learners and personnel.

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