To strengthen the Aquino Administration’s thrust of reinforcing order and security in the country—as well as kick-starting socio-economic growth in conflict-prone areas—the National Budget will continue to support peace and development programs and defense and judiciary upgrades in 2013, in fulfillment of the President’s Social Contract with the Filipino People.
“President Aquino is committed to preserving our national security and establishing the rule of law in the country. Our ability to maintain peace and order has a profound impact not just on our economic growth and our international relations—it also has a direct and lasting effect on the welfare of all Filipinos, particularly those whose lives and property are compromised by gross injustice or armed conflict,” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said.
For 2013, the Department of National Defense will receive a P12.5-percent increase from its 2012 budget, bringing the agency’s proposed allocation to P121.6 billion. Of this amount, P47.2 billion will cover internal security activities, while P2.1 billion will be devoted to territorial defense initiatives. Another P5.0 billion will be pumped into the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program, which will implement critical upgrades in AFP equipment, seacraft, and aircraft.
The Department of Transportation and Communications-Philippine Coast Guard will also receive support to enhance the country’s external security efforts, with a P1.8-billion allocation—62 percent higher than the 2012 budget—for the patrolling of Philippine territorial waters.
To boost internal security and public order, the Administration will also allot P120.8 billion to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), 21 percent higher than the agency’s 2012 budget. The amount will be used to strengthen the capabilities of the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection through modernization activities and organizational improvements.
Meanwhile, the Administration will devote P314 million in 2013 for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the agency in charge of coordinating all government efforts for peace, including P121.3 million for the National Unification Program.
Beyond ensuring the adequacy of the country’s defense systems, the Administration also vows to facilitate peace-building, reconstruction, and development activities in conflict-affected areas through the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Investment Plan and the Payapa at Masaganang Mamamayan (PAMANA) Program, which will receive a total of P13.4 billion and P5.0 billion, respectively.
“The successful implementation of the ARMM Investment Plan and PAMANA program will be central to the Administration’s goal of eradicating poverty, facilitating good governance, and establishing long-term peace and order in conflict-ridden areas across the country. Through these programs, affected areas can take control of their socio-economic advancement and become empowered members of the larger national community,” Abad said.
Finally, the Judiciary will receive a P17.8-billion allocation for 2013, up by 13.1 percent from its current allocation. The higher allocation will allow the Supreme Court, Lower Courts, Court of Appeals, and Court of Tax appeals to pursue and resolve more cases in a speedy and effective manner.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) will also receive increased budgetary support in 2013, with P10.8 billion allotted to the agency. This amount—which is 14.8 percent higher than the DoJ’s 2012 allocation—will boost all investigation and prosecution activities under the agency. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is also set to receive a 190-percent budgetary boost amounting to P1.4 billion, while the DILG-Bureau of Jail Management and Penology will receive an increased budget of P5.8 billion.