Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III has approved the proposed 1.82 trillion pesos (41.85 billion U.S. dollars) national budget for 2012, a senior government official said on Thursday.
The proposed budget is 10.4 percent higher than the current year's, which reflects his commitment to fulfill his "social contract" with Filipinos, according to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
"This is a budget that is focused on achieving results: that the dividends of good governance reach the poor in a direct, immediate and substantial way," he said.
The proposed budget is focused on the five key result areas of the Social Contract: anti-corruption and good governance, poverty reduction and the empowerment of the poor, inclusive economic growth, just and lasting peace and the rule of law and integrity of the environment.
Abad said over 30 percent of the proposed budget will go to social services -- basic education, public health and the conditional cash transfer program. About 25 percent of the proposed budget will be alloted to the economic services sector to finance infrastructure and other capital outlays for agriculture, tourism and industrial development.
The general public services sector will receive 17.7 percent of the 2012 proposed budget, while the defense sector will receive 6. 1 percent.
To sustain fiscal consolidation efforts, the share of the debt burden on the national budget will decrease to 20.2 percent. A fiscal deficit of 286 billion pesos (6.58 billion U.S. dollars) or 2.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) is targeted in 2012.
Aquino will submit the budget to Congress on July 26, a day after de delivers the State of the Nation Address.