Congress to approve the P2.6-trillion 2015 National Budget soon
Given the commitment of the leaders of the House of Representatives and the
Senate, Malacañang is “reasonably assured” that the 2015 National Budget
would be passed on time and would be ready for the President's signature
next month, a Palace official said on Tuesday.
“Based on our experience in the previous years and given the commitment of
the leaders of both Houses, we are reasonably assured that the plenary
deliberations will be concluded, so that both Houses are able to come up
with their own versions that will later on be reconciled by a bicameral
conference committee,” Presidential Communications Operations Office
Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing at the Palace.
The proposed General Appropriations Act will then be ratified by both
Houses, and submitted for the President’s signature in December, Secretary
Coloma told reporters when asked if he foresees any delay in the passing of
Legislators have voiced some reservations on the 2015 National Budget.
Senator Miriam Santiago has questioned the legality of the budget,
specifically the definition of savings, as well as the existence of the pork
In reaction, Coloma said the Executive branch recognizes the mandate of
lawmakers to scrutinize the proposed budget.
"Umaasa kami na mareresolba ang lahat ng mga usapin at mapagpapasyahan ang
panukalang budget, upang ito ay malagdaan ng Pangulo sa susunod na buwan at
maging epektibo sa unang araw ng Enero 2015, katulad ng napapanahong
pag-apruba at pagpapatupad ng lahat ng budget sa mga nakaraang taon ng
panunungkulan ng Aquino administration," he said.
The Palace official also fended off accusations that the 2015 budget would
be used by the administration in preparing for the 2016 presidential
election, saying the budget was crafted in line with the administration's
Philippine Development Plan.
This development plan, he said, is anchored on economic growth and progress;
social protection and poverty reduction; climate change mitigation and
adaptation; security, peace and law and order; and good governance and
anti-corruption. PND (as)
President Aquino to meet with coconut farmers
regarding coco levy fund
President Benigno S. Aquino III is scheduled to have a dialogue with coconut
farmers on Wednesday to discuss the coco levy fund, a Palace official has
“Makikipagdayalogo si Pangulong Aquino at ang mga miyembro ng
Gabinete sa pangkat ng Kilos Magniniyog sa Malacañang bukas. Handang
pakingggan ng Pangulo ang mga usapin na ihaharap ng mga magsasaka at tukuyin
ang mga programang isinasagawa ng pamahalaan para sa kapakanan nila,”
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr.
said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
Some 71 coconut farmers have been conducting a 71-day march, walking
1,075 kilometers from Davao City to reach Malacañang Palace on Wednesday
(November 26). They have sought a dialogue with President Aquino to ask him
to resolve the issue regarding the P71-billion coco levy fund.
Coloma noted that even though the Supreme Court ruled in November 2012
that the fund must be used to improve the lives of the coconut farmers, the
High Court still has to go through an “entry of judgment”.
“At dahil dito, hindi pa maaaring ikonsiderang final at executory ang
naging pagpapasya na iyon. Kaya’t kailangang maresolba ang usapin na iyan at
humahanap naman ng paraan ang pamahalaan kung paano matutukoy ang mga
kahilingan o mga pangangailangan ng ating mga magsasaka na habang hindi pa
nakakamit iyang tinatawag na entry of judgment,” he explained.
In 1972, former President Ferdinand Marcos issued a presidential decree
to collect fees from coconut farmers through the Philippine Coconut
Authority. This fund was then used to buy shares in San Miguel Corporation
In 2012, the Supreme Court declared that the SMC shares are "owned by the
government to be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for
the development of the coconut industry." This however has not been
The disputed fund is currently being held by the National Treasury and the
United Coconut Planters Bank. PND (ag)
measures are in place to protect poorest of the poor
The government will continue to provide social protection for the vulnerable
segment of the population to shield it from the effects of fluctuating fuel
prices, a Palace official said on Tuesday.
“Batid naman natin na ang pinakamalaking bahagdan ng ating pambansang
budget—more than 37 percent—ay nakalaan doon sa social protection para
bigyan nga ng tinatawag nating safety nets ang mga pinakamaralita at
pinakamahirap sa ating lipunan,” Presidential Communications Operations
Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing in
He was commenting on concerns that decreasing fuel prices have not resulted
in lower transportation fares and have not reduced food prices.
"Iyon ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan sa iba’t ibang larangan, at ang ating mga
programang pangkabuhayan at pang-ekonomiya ay nakatutok doon sa mga
lalawigan na pinakamataas ang bilang ng mga maralita, ang mabigyan sila ng
sapat na hanap-buhay at pagkakakitaan para hindi sila mapariwara," Secretary
He noted that among the measures being carried out by the government are the
Trade Department’s ‘Diskwento Caravan’ as well as the Conditional Cash
Transfer program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“Ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan ay tinitingnan ang sitwasyon ng mga
pinakamaralita at nagbibigay nga ng tinatawag na social safety nets.
Ginagawa ang nararapat para magkaroon sila ng sapat na kakayahan na makabili
ng mga kinakailangan nilang pagkain. Binibigyan din sila ng ayuda sa
larangan ng kalusugan, sa larangan ng edukasyon. At kaya nga meron tayong
Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” he said.
Coloma said that nearly 2.5
million Filipinos have already improved their lives as a result of the
government’s poverty reduction program and social protection measures. PND
Palace welcomes poll
results indicating rise in optimism among Filipinos
The Palace on Tuesday welcomed the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS)
survey that showed a rise in the people’s net personal optimism.
“Ikinagagalak natin ito. We share our people’s high level of optimism that
is based on the shared belief that our country is well on the path of
sustainable, long-term and inclusive growth,” Presidential Communications
Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during the daily press
briefing in Malacañang.
“This belief is in turn anchored on their support for President Aquino’s
good governance platform and the reform initiatives under the Philippine
Development Plan,” Coloma added.
The SWS survey, conducted last September 26 to 29, showed that 39 percent of
1,200 respondents are expecting the quality of their lives to improve in the
next 12 months, compared to 9 percent who said otherwise. This posted a net
optimism score of +30, which is considered “very high”.
The SWS classified the net personal optimism score as “very high” for +30
and higher; “high” for +20 to +29; and “fair” for +10 to +19.
Coloma said the survey is important in gauging the people’s response to
“Nagbibigay sa atin ito ng indikasyon kung ano ang saloobin ng mga mamamayan
at kung paano nila tinatanggap ang ibat-ibang mga programa ng isinasagawa ng
pamahalaan para sa kanilang kapakanan,” he said. PND (ag)