Social services, education remain as top priorities in 2019 national budget

With a total allocation of P1.377-trillion, Social Services remain as the administration’s top priority in the 2019 National Budget. This is equivalent to 36.7% of the Budget, and will be used to fund social programs, particularly on human capital development, such as education, healthcare, and social protection.

The education segment including the Department of Education, State Universities and Colleges, the Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, continues to get the lion’s share of the 2019 Budget, with a total funding of P659.3-billion, a 12.3% increase from last year’s P587.1-billion.

Banner Social Programs

The administration’s banner social programs including Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, National Health Insurance Program, Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, Free Irrigation for Farmers, Basic Educational Facilities Program and Rice Subsidy for Military and Uniformed Personnel, will receive a total allocation of P283-billion.

The funding for the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education has sizeably increased from P40-billion in 2018 to P51-billion in 2019.

The Unconditional Cash Transfer Program would benefit the bottom 50% of households, through a cash transfer of PHP 3600 per year per household in 2019, 50% higher than the PHP 2400 per year per household in 2018. Accordingly, the total allocation for such cash grants has been increased from P25.7-billion in 2018 to P37.6-billion in 2019.

The Pantawid Pasada Program will cover 179,852 units or 100% of PUJ units with existing LTFRB franchise. For 2019, P3.86-billion is allocated to provide an annual fuel subsidy of PHP 20,514.82 per PUJ unit. This has been increased from a PHP 5,000 fuel subsidy in 2018. The program has already been launched, and the distribution of 1500 cards is ongoing in the NCR.

The PUV Modernization Program is seen to make our public transportation more efficient through the modernization of the signature Filipino transport vehicle, the jeepney. For 2019, around P2.7-billion will be allocated for the program’s implementation, P500-million of which will be utilized for the capacity building and training requirements of the DOTr. On the other hand, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) will be allocated P1.1-billion each to subsidize a portion of the equity contribution of buyers.