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Duterte signs ‘pro-people’ P3.35-T 2017 budget
In this Dec. 22, 2016 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the P3.35 trillion national budget for 2017. The STAR/Alexis Romero
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday signed into law the P3.35 trillion national budget for 2017.
Duterte signed the 2017 General Appropriations Act or Republic Act 10924 at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace, the first under his administration.
In his speech, Duterte said the 2017 national budget is the “embodiment of Filipinos’ clamor for change.” He said it will enhance basic social services.
“As the first budget of my administration, we ensure that it will be pro-people, pro-investment, pro-growth and pro-development,” the president said.
— Alexis B. Romero (@alexisbromero) December 22, 2016
Duterte who previously said the 2017 budget will prioritize education agriculture and health fulfilled his vow. He noted that since the budget is higher, the government increased its allocation on infrastructure, free education for state universities and colleges, universal health care, rice allowance for the poor, free irrigation, budget for prisoners, and pension for war veterans, among others.
Education will get the biggest share with around P550 billion while the Department of Public Works and Highways will get P440 billion.
The bicameral conference composed of members of both the House of Representatives and Senate approved the proposed P3.35 trillion national budget for 2017 last Tuesday. It was ratified the next day.
Former President Benigno Aquino III also signed his final budget last year also on the same date, December 22.