Philippine Public Budget: Galing sa Bayan, Ginamit Saan?

A Report on Philippine Dataset Projects

Department Budget Allocations

Annual 1987-2014



Aquino | Ramos | Estrada | Arroyo

His Excellency President Benigno Simeon Aquino, III


Philippine Public Budget: Galing sa Bayan, Ginamit Saan?

A Blog Entry by Roi Marru L. Pablo 


The Budget Cycle

The budget cycle in the Philippines gives crucial responsibility to the Philippine President in its four stage of preparation, legislation, execution, and accountability.


From the illustration above as presented from the official website of the Department of Budget and Management, it could be easily seen that the president has both explicit and implicit control, power to be blunt, on the processing of the public budget for the country. Some of such controls, as manifested in the illustration, are the ‘Executive Review’, ‘Presentation to the President and the Cabinet’, ‘President’s Budget’, ‘President’s Enactment and Veto’, and implicit controls in the latter part of the cycle which includes execution and accountability.


Presidential Messages for the Philippine Budget

Having said, I would like to begin by imparting the framework and structure of the message of President Aquino for the 2013 budget released and his message as well for the 2014 budget:


An excerpt from the

2013 Budget Message of President Aquino

The Budget as a Social Contract with the FILIPINO People

“In 2012, our national budget was sharply focused on this Administration’s Social Contract with the Filipino People.

In 2013, we remain focused on fulfilling that Contract, and have intensified the level of prioritization of our key result areas we had laid out earlier.”


An excerpt from the

2014 Budget Message of President Aquino 

Tighter Budget Prioritization for Inclusive Development 

Kasama sa kuwentong binibigyang-linaw natin ang higit na lumalalim na pananagutan natin bilang pamahalaan na siguruhing nakatutok sa mga susing pangangailangan ng ating mamamayan ang Pambansang Budget.

Earlier in our term, we defined the five Priority Areas of our Social Contract with the Filipino People and directed all departments and agencies to focus their resources and efforts to fulfilling these Priority Areas:

1. Transparent, Accountable, and Participatory Governance

2. Poverty Reduction and Empowerment of the Poor and Vulnerable

3. Rapid, Inclusive, and Sustained Economic Growth

4. Just and Lasting Peace and the Rule of Law

5. Integrity of the Environment and Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation

From the excerpts presented above on President’s Aquino’s messages for the budgets released for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, we could derive his intention as well, having passed the proposed budget in its principle, framework, and agenda.


As an Economist Studying Political Science

As a student from the UP School of Economics, I would have the tendency to react on this key issue of annual budget allocations across departments from the administration of Former President Corazon C. Aquino back in 1987 to her son President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino, III in such a way that it would be pieced and analyzed from the viewpoint of an economist having a bit of background in political science. This is in accordance that there is that mere fact that the power of the economists technically end as the power of the politicians begin, this is in the virtue that our economists have the discretion to layout and recommend budget allocations but this is nevertheless subjected to the discretion of the legislators, the politicians, for final approval and execution itself.

This is in line with the idea that my professor in my Political Science 14 class (Philippine Government and Politics) Dr. Rogelio Alicor S. Panao sparked in me regarding the definition of political science in accordance to the definition of economics; This is how such definition would go:

          Economics is the social science of allocating scarce resources to satisfy infinite needs and wants as Political Science is the social science of assuming and allocating (scarce) power in order to satisfy the best needs of the people.


Reaction on PNoy’s Messages on Budgets (2013|2014)

We will take key points from the messages of President Aquino I have presented above. Such key points would be ‘Social Contract’, ‘Prioritization’, ‘Key Result Areas’, ‘Transparent, Accountable, and Participatory Governance’, ‘Poverty Reduction’, ‘Empowerment of the Poor and Vulnerable’, ‘Rapid, Inclusive, and Sustainable Growth’, ‘Just and Lasting Peace’, ‘Rule of Law’, ‘Environment and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation’.

With ‘Social Contract’, we shall follow the description given by Prof. Malaya C. Ronas through his book “Angkan ni Socrates”.

On the latter concepts of result areas, transparent governance, poverty reduction, inclusive growth and development, just and lasting peace, and environmental concerns, we shall take the data available from the Department of Budget and Management to see whether the President has been true to his words, to the framework he had presented in his message for the budgets allocated for 2013 and 2014 as well.


Data – Budget Allocations (2013|2014) President B. Aquino, III (Sectoral)

The following are data (nominal, percentage allocations) of the budget allocations during the fiscal year 2013 and 2014 during PNoy’s 3rd and 4th year as President.

Through these, we shall see whether he had been sincere in the targets he presented in his messages: To promote priorities such as inclusive growth and reduce poverty, and other more.


2014 Budget Allocation by Sector

Looking at the first data above, we could see that among different sectors, social services garnered most of the budget for 2014 with 37.2% of total allocation.

Social Services simply target the improvement of the living conditions of citizens (the poor in particular) through education, health, social security, and others. Here we could see that the target to reduce poverty is being addressed by the government in terms of budget prioritization, increasing the budget for this sector gradually from 28.2% in 2010, 34.9% in 2013, and now to 37.2% with a difference of 9% from the original percentage allocation in 2010 (note that the budget increased in nominal terms as well)

Following is the percentage allocated for Economic Services with a total of 26% allocation of the total budget. This sector is intended for support to economic development which includes agriculture, transport infrastructure, tourism, among others. This could be perceived as an address to inclusive development of the economy while expanding it as well.

While very controversial among many sectors in the society, financing our Debt Burden still stands to be strong at third place of the total percentage allocation with 16.6%. This includes payment of local and foreign debts, and the payment of losses incurred by GOCCs at the same time. Although take note that there has been a decrease in the percentage allocated for this sector from 20.6%, 18%, to 16.6%.

General Public Services and Debt simply pertain to expenditures for public order and safety where the former focuses on fiscal management, foreign affairs, and lawmaking (internal and local range) while the latter speaks of the assurance for national security, stability, and peace. The former is said to be maintained at the same amount in nominal terms while the latter is increased by more than 3% as part of the government’s stance to improved military conditions in the country.


Data – Budget Allocations (2013|2014) Pres. Aquino, III (Departmental) 


Departmentally, the data at the left side will show as that in the ten most allocated departments, most are departments that are crucial in addressing the highest percentage allocated sector which is the social services.

This involves the Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, among many others.

In terms of the constitution, the government stands consistent with the fulfillment of the constitution that the Education Department be the recipient of the largest chunk of allocations among other several departments.

The two main departments needed to ensure the rationalization of the budget allocated for general public services and defense can also be found in the top ten departments allocated with the biggest budget; they are the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense.

For Economic Services, we could see that the Department of Public Works and Highways, the department concerned with infrastructural works, stay high at 2nd place, garnering 213.5 billion, following DepEd’s 336.9 billion.

The call for Environmental and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation can also be seen to be a sincere target from the government as DENR has been able to put up as they finish 9th of the most allocated departments.

All in all, with President Benigno S. Aquino, III’s targets, we could say that the budget rationalized for different sectors and departments stay in line with the framework he presented through his messages for the budget allocation in 2013 and 2014. It is important that the allocation of budgets be reflective of the words promised as delivered by the Chief Executive of the government.


Former Presidents: C. Aquino | Ramos | Estrada | Arroyo

Slogans and the Reflection of Budget Allocations per Administration

Moving 27 years ago up to the recent administration of PGMA which ended 4 years ago, let us have a brief background on their campaign slogans, budget messages, and budget allocation data to have the same purpose: To know whether the percentage allocation for the different departments reflect their promises to the nation. 

Let us begin by looking on former President Corazon C. Aquino, mother of incumbent President Benigno S. Aquino, III, through her famous action towards land reform through the enactment of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program during her term. The following data will show the nominal and percentage allocation for the Department of Agrarian Reform (Pink-DAR) and Department of Agriculture (Blue-DA) during her term. 


From 1987-1991, we could see drastic increases in the allocation of budget for the Department of Agricultural Reform which significantly reflects her commitment to her famous project of land reform though at 1992, an excessive decrease in the allocation for DAR occurred, even lower than that of the original allocation for 1987.

During former President Fidel V. Ramos’ time, we can see that in terms of budget allocation, he dropped the act of his preceding President C. Aquino amidst the fact that he stood to be a strong ally of the preceding president where he fought with her to topple down the Marcos’ administration and was even endorsed by Mrs. Aquino during his presidential campaign.

Here are the data: 


During former Pres. Ramos’ term, the budget for DAR never reached a percentage of the total budget allocation. Also, allocations for DA cycled dramatically from a level of low, moderate, very high, and then decreased allocation for the said department.

In the case of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, it was very clear that his claim was he’s the President of and for the masses (hence, Erap Para Sa Mahirap).

With this, we shall envision a very strong allocation for departments that will address for the needs of the fulfillment of sectors in the Social Services; such departments would be the DOH, DepEd, and the DSWD as well.

But looking at data available from the budget allocation planned during his term, we would see contrasting results as compared to the claims he gave as promises during his campaign and speeches.

Here are the data for DOH and DSWD:


We could see that in his term, the budget for DSWD did not even achieve a level of one-percent as portion of the total budget allocation. What is worse is that during his term, budget allocation for DOH consistently fell on an annual basis, both in nominal and percentage terms.

Now let us proceed to Arroyo’s call of a strong republic and see whether the proportion of budget allocations during her term is reflective of such claim during her presidency.

I will now present to you the data for departments we could call as forwarders of a strong republic, aside from living condition alleviation which will fall in social services, let us rather go to departments that forward economic services for stronger development in the economy, general public services for stronger integration of peace and order in local range, and defense which shall ensure national security at all times. All of which are to ensure a Strong Republic.


In her term, we could see that budget allocations are reflective of her call for a stronger republic. We could also see that percentage allocations during her term are reflective of someone who is knowledgeable of economics. There has been consistent movement in the increase of budget in nominal terms while showing a consistently flat curve in percentage terms. The only thing that could be perceived to be undergoing constant increase is the Department of Public Works and Highways which involves economic services such as infrastructure development.


Conclusion: Budget Allocation as a Function of Presidential Integrity

All in all, we could see that the 5 different administrations can be perceived in different manners as well whether they are sincere to their calls during their presidential campaign and presidency as well.

Through the data regarding selected budget allocations during their term, we could see that some of the presidents were firm in their stance to promote what they have promised in their speeches while the others are not.

At the end of the day, Presidential Integrity could not be derived by simply looking at the allocation of budget during a president’s term but the execution of the departments being allocated as well. It could not be derived from a single function but of multiple variables that could only be checked if we will be consistent with our responsibility to love the nation, perform as citizens that are part of nation building.



1) 2013 Budget Message of President Aquino
Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

2) 2014 Budget Message of President Aquino
Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

3) Illustration of the Budget Cycle
Department of Budget Management

4) Notes from Class Discussions
Political Science 14 THR – UP Diliman
Prof. Rogelio Alicor S. Panao, Ph. D.

5) Group 2 Dataset Project PowerPoint Presentation
Political Science 14 THR – UP Diliman
R. Amores, S. David, R. Manuel, R. Pablo, P. Salamanque

6) Overview
Budget ng Bayan
Department of Budget and Management

7) Time Series (2014 Budget)
Budget ng Bayan
Department of Budget and Management

8) GAA Allocation on DAR and DA
Former President Corazon C. Aquino
Group 2 Dataset Project PowerPoint Presentation

9) GAA Allocation on DAR and DA
Former President Fidel V. Ramos
Group 2 Dataset Project PowerPoint Presentation

10) GAA Allocation on DOE, DENR, DOH, DOLE, and DSWD
Former President Joseph Ejercito-Estrada
Group 2 Dataset Project PowerPoint Presentation

11) GAA Allocation on DILG, DOJ, DND,and DPWH
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Group 2 Dataset Project PowerPoint Presentation

12) PNoy’s Anti-Corruption Slogan wins Asian Award
“Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap”

13) PGMA’s legacy: Strong Republic Nautical Highway

14) Fulfilling the Promise of Full Ownership through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
Former President Corazon C. Aquino
Department of Agricultural Reform

15) Hirap Para Sa Maka-Erap

16) Profile: Joseph Estrada

17) Malaya C. Ronas,
Angkan ni Socrates
(Quezon City: Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, Sistemang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, 1998)

18) General Appropriations Act 2014
Department of Budget and Management

19) General Appropriations Act 2014
Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

20) General Appropriations Act 2013
Department of Budget and Management

21) The General Appropriations Act (GAA)
The Fair and Fearless Man

22) 2012 General Appropriations Act
Budget ng Bayan

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