DBCC eyes ₱5.768-T national budget for 2024

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 9) — Next year's proposed national budget has been set at ₱5.768 trillion, the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said on Friday.

The amount is 9.5% higher than the current outlay of ₱5.268 trillion.

"The proposed national budget will continue to prioritize expenditure items that promote social and economic transformation through infrastructure development, food security, digital transformation, and human capital development," the DBCC said in a statement.

"Acknowledging the competing demands of government programs against a backdrop of limited resources, we shall ensure that the FY [fiscal year] 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) will only include implementation-ready agency proposals," it added.

The committee is composed of the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Finance, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Office of the President, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, who chairs the committee, gave the timetable for the 2024 National Expenditure Program.

"We [DBCC] have a constitutional deadline. we'll have to submit it 30 days after the SONA (State of the Nation Address) but from our end from our own timeline, we'll present the NEP to the Cabinet on June 22," she said.

"We'll finalize it after and then maybe after the SONA, give it maybe three to five days then we'll present it to Congress,” she added.

Marcos' second SONA is set for July 24.

Pangandaman said the next NEP would be geared towards three major items: first, "to strengthen the purchasing power of Filipinos"; second, "to reduce vulnerability and mitigate scarring from the COVID-19 pandemic"; and, "to ensure macroeconomic fundamentals which will include budget for digitalization."

She added that the budget would be in line with the Philippine Development Plan and the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework. 

The DBM in January issued a National Budget Call for FY 2024, urging national government agencies to submit their funding proposals for the upcoming year.

"The FY 2024 budget is poised to respond to the expected continuing headwinds brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war, the external recessionary pressures which inflation has stoked and the economic scarring which COVID-19 has wrought to our economy," the DBM said in its memorandum dated Jan. 12.