PNoy asks 16th Congress to pass 2014 budget, key economic bills

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013. Filed under: Philippine News
Philippine President Benigno Aquino adjusts his eyeglasses while delivering a speech during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, Metro Manila July 22, 2013.(MNS photo)

Philippine President Benigno Aquino adjusts his eyeglasses while delivering a speech during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, Metro Manila July 22, 2013.(MNS photo)

MANILA, July 22 (Mabuhay) — The President on Monday asked the 16th Congress to prioritize measures that spur competition and raise government revenues in a bid to sustain the economic gains made so far by the administration.

In his State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino III asked Congress to pass amendments to the Cabotage Law and the rationalization of Fiscal Incentives and Land Administration Reform bills.

The Cabotage Law prohibits foreign vessels from serving domestic shipment routes, but Aquino said amendments will increase competition and strengthen industries.

“Mapapalakas po nito ang kompetisyon,” he said.

Ramping up govt revenues

The Fiscal Incentives bill would streamline tax breaks given to businesses to ramp up government revenues. The bill is needed for “matapat, malinaw na panuntunan sa mga insentibo ng gobyerno,” Aquino said.

The bills formed part of the nine priority measures under the Legislative- Executive Development Advisory Council’s (LEDAC) list which the economic managers unveiled last week.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima noted these bills—to answer key economic concerns of both the government and private sector—were being fine tuned before final submission to Congress.

The President also said the Land Administration Reform bills will ensure that agencies and their employees concerned with land administration will be “masinop at epektibo.”

Budget to create jobs

“Bukas na bukas, ihahain natin ang panukalang P2.268-trillion na national budget sa Kongreso,” Aquino said.

He underscored the need for a timely passage of the budget to promote job creation and “inclusive growth.”

The Aquino administration emphasized that the P2.2-trillion proposed budget for next year will focus on projects concerning jobs creation.

According to the spending plan to be submitted to Congress, the Department of Education will get the lion’s share or 15 percent of the budget, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways. (MNS)

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