MANILA, Philippines – The Senate and the House approved the bicameral conference committee report that contains the individual versions of the 2024 national budget which is valued at P5.768 trillion.
On Monday, the bicameral conference committee met in Makati to approve the new changes of the 449B budget allocations including the P5,000 cash assistance for the near poor.
“Sa mga bagong programa yung AKAP Ayuda sa Kapos ang Kita Program. Under AKAP, mabibigyan ng ayuda ang mga tinatawag na natin ‘near poor’ na kumikita lang ng P23,000 or less per month. Yan po ang bagiong programa ng ating administratsyon ni Speaker Martin Romualdez Mga 12 million households ang target beneficiaries natin sa programang ‘to which includes construction workers, drivers, factory workers and the like,” House Appropriations chair Rep. Elizaldy Co said.
In a separate interview, Co said in the 2024 budget that the 60-billion program was introduced by the House as AKAP.
House Bill 8980 initially proposed over P4.3 trillion in new allocations. The bicameral panel made adjustments, adding over P1 trillion to certain items and deducting over P564 billion from others, resulting in a net change of P449.54 billion. The final new appropriations in the bicameral report are P4.571 trillion.
The unchanged budget approved by the House is for the Office of the President at over P10.645 billion and the Office of the Vice President at over P1.874 billion
The DepEd budget increased over P3.080 billion. The overall increased funding was over P15.038 billion, of which P12.52 billion belongs to the House of Representatives.
State Universities and Colleges received P25.833 billion, including P2.38 billion allocated for the University of the Philippines System. The Department of Health, Department of Interior and Local Government received a P2.4 billion budget. P1.8 billion for The Department of Justice.
The Department of Public Works and Highways gained P173.898 billion, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development saw an increase of P2.7 billion. The Department of Transportation faced a loss of over P97.184 billion, and the Judiciary gained P2.387 billion.
The Department of National Defense received P8.42 billion, including P7.6 billion for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Special Purpose Funds decreased over P126 billion. The Contingent Fund was unchanged at P13 billion. The Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund also decreased over P36 billion from P65.73 billion to just over P29 billion.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund decreased over P500 million to settler at P20.5 million. The Pension and Gratuity Fund lost over P40.25 billion to settle at P142.956 billion.
In a separate press release, Co said Congress is allocating P10-billion to support rice farmers through irrigation, free seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs. Aside from job creation, the seed capital will ensure farmers’ income and lead to production of affordable and high quality local rice, he added.
Congress allocates P10-billion to support farmers through farming needs, another P60-billion is for large scale irrigation projects, while P25-billion is for the DA to support crops and produce of the country according to Co.
“We put up additional P25-billion na sa Housing para magkaroon tayo ng murang pabahay from P2,500-P3,500 monthly compared sa private developers around P15,000 magiging P2,500-P3,500. Maglagay tayo ng subsidy P10 billion for the 4PH housing para maging mura ang mga monthly bayad ng mga ano, walang interest,” Co said.
“Ganun din po sa 2024 yung AICS (assistance to individuals in crisis situations) at 4PS (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) tuloy tuloy po ating mabibigyan po yun ng allocation,” Co added.