2011 Reform Budget signed into law by President Aquino

December 27, 2010 press release by the Department of Budget and Management
DBM Sec. Abad: first Aquino financial blueprint achieves key ‘firsts’ in budgeting
President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed today the P1.645-trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2011, the first financial blueprint of the Aquino administration.
“The Reform Budget of 2011 has now been enacted. In the run-up to this momentous occasion, we have achieved key ‘firsts’ in public expenditure management,” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said.
Among these, he said, is that it will be the first time in 11 years that the GAA is enacted before the fiscal year starts. “We are now shunning the old, inefficient and crooked practice of re-enactment by ensuring that our budget is passed on time and implemented early.”

The budget chief also said it was the first time this year that the national budget was prepared using the zero-based budgeting (ZBB) approach. “This allowed us to reduce or terminate funding for projects or programs which are ineffective, inefficient or fraught with leakages, and to expand funding for those which are well-performing and are critical for development.”
Furthermore, he stressed that the 2011 Reform Budget is the first budget with transparency and accountability provisions integrated within the GAA text.
“These general and special provisions require us to disclose key information on budgetary appropriations and releases using new information technology. This government has nothing to hide from the people.”

He also said that it was also the first time that ways and means to institutionalize citizen participation in the budget process have begun to be discussed with civil society organizations (CSOs). “In fact, CSOs will already participate in preparing the 2012 budget.”
Pinakamahalaga sa lahat, inuuna ng Reform Budget of 2011 ang maralita nating mga kababayan (Most importantly, the Reform Budget of 2011 puts our poor countrymen first). This budget puts into pesos the Aquino government’s unabashed bias for the poor,” Abad stressed.
The reform advocate said the 2011 budget significantly invests in poverty reduction, with the social services sector receiving the lion’s share of 34.1% of the budget; as well as a 16.8% increase, which is the highest increase among sectors.
“This is a concrete, direct and substantial way of making the dividends of good governance benefit the poor,” he said. He notes that allocations for conditional cash transfers, for quality basic education and for maternal and child healthcare have significantly increased in line with meeting the country’s Millennium Development Goals.