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Marcos signs the 2023 national budget, P5.268-T

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The PHP5.268 trillion national budget for 2023 was approved by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday and is intended to promote post-pandemic economic recovery.

Vice President Sara Z. Duterte, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, and House Speaker Martin Romualdez were present as Marcos signed the 2023 General Appropriations Act in a ceremony at Malacanang Palace.

Compared to this year’s budget of PHP5.023 trillion, the first expenditure measure of the Marcos administration is 4.9 percent more, or PHP244.4 billion, and gives top emphasis to infrastructure development, social safety nets, health, and agricultural programs.

Marcos stated in his remarks at the ceremonial signing that its passage is crucial because it will act as a blueprint for the government’s plans for the following year.

“And to see the swiftness of the passage is significant because it shows that our legislative fully supports this budget and the roadmap we have proposed from the Executive. And that is really, really crucial,” said Marcos. “Because it is what is fundamentally or occasionally perceived as a lengthy, challenging, drawn-out procedure… proved to be still able to convey that kind of solidarity and support for the Executive.

He added that the General Appropriations Act’s passage is significant because it would give the government a tool to reform the economy and carry out the necessary structural changes to achieve the administration’s objectives.

The coordination and synergy that will result from that will be a crucial component of how we move forward, according to Marcos, who also stressed the importance of the GAA being put together in accordance with all of the Executive’s plans.

Amenah Pangandaman, the budget secretary, had emphasized that the administration’s 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda and the Medium Term Fiscal Framework were both supported by the 2023 budget (MTFF).

The proposed budget aims to address the immediate and pressing issues of all Filipinos in the near- and medium term. It is based on the subject “Agenda for Prosperity: Economic Transformation Towards Inclusivity and Sustainability.”

Pangandaman declared that “the first full-year budget of the administration should serve as a springboard for the economy’s full-speed recovery and serious structural transformation.”

In a statement, Speaker Martin Romualdez said the recently-signed bill will assist the administration in implementing its Agenda for Prosperity to sustain growth, create economic activity and jobs, and raise Filipinos’ incomes.

The President, his economic team, and the entire government can use it to carry out the objectives of the prosperity roadmap, according to Romualdez.

The President’s first full-year budget proposal was discussed and adopted by the House of Representatives and the Senate “in record time,” according to him.

He continued, “As far as I can recall, the 2023 budget is one of the few spending legislation that was signed into law in the middle of December, well before it began to be implemented on New Year’s Day.

In the meantime, Sonny Angara, the chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, stated that Congress made a concerted effort to guarantee that the budget legislation is signed within the year in order to maintain the provision of public services.

While there were differences of opinion during the meetings of the bicameral conference committee, both panels agreed on the necessity to make sure that aid is provided to those who need it the most and to maintain the country’s progress toward economic recovery.

“This budget is based on a plan for prosperity, as expressed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Like the previous two years, we are no longer playing catch-up and responding to the advancements. Now that the groundwork has been set, the nation can work on sustaining economic growth and giving its citizens greater possibilities, the president remarked.

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