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Philippine budget to hit record P2 trillion in 2013; CCT to rise by 30-percent
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE, 3 p.m.) The Aquino administration is looking at a P2 trillion national budget for 2013 which has increased in increments of P200 billion every year since President Benigno Aquino III assumed office.

"It will hover around P2 trillion. This is the first time it will hit (that level)," budget chief Florencio Abad said in an interview on Tuesday during the sidelines of the vin d' honneur commemorating the country's 114th Independence Day at the Palace.

CCT budget up by 30 percent

At the same time, the Aquino administration plans to hike its budget for the conditional cash transfer program by almost 30 percent, from this year's p34 billion to roughly P45 billion in 2013.

Social Welfare chief Corazon Soliman, in an interview on Tuesday at the Palace, said the amount would cover 700,000 more beneficiaries for next year.

Soliman said the department is pushing for a P67 billion budget in 2013, of which two-thirds would be for the CCT program.

At least 3 million poor families are currently enrolled in the program.

The Aquino administration plans to cover some 4.8 million poor families under the dole program by 2014.

The CCT provides poor families with at least three children below 14 years old cash aid of P500 up to P900 provided that the kids are sent to school.

Each child who turns 14 automatically loses the P300 monthly stipend.

Budget process

"The Development Budget and Coordinating Council will review the macroeconomic assumptions this week," Abad added.

He said for next year, the borrowing component will be at least two percent of the gross domestic product. 

Abad said next year's proposed General Appropriations Act will still be funded largely through revenues.

"We will have even more investments for infrastructure, excluding those funded through the public-private partnership program," Abad said.