Statement of President Aquino upon his signing of the 2011 National Budget

His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
On the approval of the General Appropriations Act for 2011 by Congress
[December 27, 2010]

Congress has ratified the General Appropriations Act for 2011. By so doing, it has made possible my signing the national budget today. This will be the first time in eleven years that the budget will be signed into law in the same year that it was submitted.

The House of Representatives and the Senate, by means of their swift yet thorough deliberations on the budget, have proven that Congress is indeed serious about the primary duty of the legislature. The budget is the most important act of any Congress. Its early passage means that the much-needed programs for poverty alleviation and development can be implemented earlier.

This will enable us to address the urgent needs of our people in a timely manner. Such needs include building more rural health units and providing immunization for children. This also allows us to construct new classrooms and hire new teachers, as promised to the Filipino people.
I would like to thank all the members of both chambers of Congress and staff of the various departments who came to the budget deliberations thoroughly prepared.

I would like to also extend my deepest thanks to the leadership of Congress: to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Representative Jun Abaya; to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Franklin Drilon, who led their respective chambers and shepherded the budget bill through the deliberations. Congress must be commended, in particular, for retaining our development programs, at the core of which are our poverty reduction programs such as Conditional Cash Transfers.

I commend the hard work and dedication of the Secretary of Budget and Management Butch Abad, and the officials of the department, in putting together this historic zero-based budget. This approach has enabled us to more efficiently use the people’s resources and reduce corruption, as each item was justified first before its budget was approved.
All the departments exercising transparency and competence assisted in the swift passage of this measure.

We now have the means to fulfill our people’s aspirations for a government that pursues national development along transparent, accountable lines, and with maximum efficiency.

This budget demonstrates our commitment to solving the problems of our people at the soonest time. This alleviates the burdens especially of the most disadvantaged.

By working in unison and through constructive dialogue, our people have been indeed truly served.

I expect the Executive department to live up to the trust imposed by the people through Congress by adhering faithfully and thoroughly to both the spirit and the letter of the law.