The Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives has endorsed for approval the P17.29-billion budget of the Department of Finance (DoF) and its attached agencies for 2020, an outlay that decreased for the third straight fiscal year since 2018.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the DoF budget plan is P1.59 billion or 8 percent lower than its 2019 budget of P18.89 billion, which is likewise below the preceding year’s P19.73-billion allocation.
“We will continue to build on our efforts to maintain fiscal stability and to improve our revenue collection performance to achieve inclusive economic growth for our country,” Dominguez said.
“Our fiscal objectives in the DoF were honed to support the administration’s priority programs, such as the massive infrastructure program and public investments to improve the lives of our people.”
Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing sponsored the DoF budget before the House plenary.
Suansing cited the sound fiscal policies and reform measures implemented in the first half of the Duterte administration, such as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN law that has led to double-digit growth in tax collections and a higher investment-grade credit rating of BBB-Plus for the Philippines, which is only a step away from the sterling “A” territory.
“These reforms and substantive gains enable us to fund critical government programs — programs badly needed by our constituents. Hence, it is but prudent to equip the DoF and its attached agencies with sufficient budget to keep this momentum of fiscal reforms and gains,” Suansing said in endorsing the approval of the DoF budget for 2020.
If automatic appropriations, unprogrammed appropriations and budgetary support for government-owned and -controlled corporations are included, the DoF’s total budget for 2020 amounts to P56 billion.
The DoF’s automatic appropriations of P1.4 billion, covers retirement and life insurance premiums of P720 million and special accounts in the General Fund of P700 million.