By Anna Leah Gonzales

ENSURING ECONOMIC GROWTH. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signs the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA) which contains the PHP5.768-trillion budget on December 20, 2023. Economic managers said the timely passage of the 2024 national budget is expected to support the country’s economic growth and ensure the seamless delivery of government programs and services, which are much needed to pursue social and economic transformation. (PNA photo by Rey Baniquet)

MANILA – The recently-approved PHP5.768-trillion 2024 national budget will help spur Philippine economic growth, government economic managers said.

In a statement on Thursday, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the timely passage of the 2024 national budget is expected to support the country’s economic growth and “ensure the seamless delivery of government programs and services, which are much needed to pursue social and economic transformation.”

“Efficiently utilizing our budget and implementing our planned programs are crucial for us to achieve our socioeconomic goals and realize resilient and sustainable growth for the country, and better lives for the Filipino people,” Balisacan said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday signed the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

The 2024 GAA, which is equivalent to 21.7 percent of gross domestic product, is 9. 5 percent higher compared to the PHP5.268-trillion budget for 2023.

Balisacan thanked both chambers of Congress for the timely passage of the budget.

“These efforts from our colleagues in the legislative side are a manifestation of a mutual understanding of the goals and targets we are aiming to reach,” he said.

NEDA said government spending has been a major driver of the economy in recent years.

In line with the Marcos administration’s commitment to alleviating poverty, promoting infrastructure and human capital development, and steering the nation towards a higher growth trajectory, the 2024 GAA allocates the highest budget to the social services and economic services sectors.

“The year 2023 is all about laying the groundwork and establishing the foundation to achieve our development goals. Through the swift action of Congress, we are inspired to sustain our efforts to implement vital programs and projects that will transform our economy and significantly improve the living standards of every Filipino,” Balisacan said.

In a separate statement late Wednesday, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the swift enactment of the 2024 GAA is a testament to the strong collaboration and firm resolve of the Marcos administration to accelerate economic growth.

“With this budget, we are well-equipped to continue the pursuit of economic transformation achieved under the FY 2023 National Budget, and further accelerate our push towards realizing the socio-economic development goals of the Marcos Jr. administration,” Diokno said.

“The 2024 National Budget was carefully optimized to drive the country towards a future of inclusivity and sustainability, ensuring that every peso is used efficiently to benefit every Filipino,” he added. (PNA)