Press Release
August 12, 2015

Opening Statement
Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
Briefing by the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) on the 2016 National Expenditure Program (NEP)
August 12, 2015 | Recto and Laurel Rooms, Senate

Good morning and welcome to the hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance.

As we open discussions on the 2016 national budget in the Senate today, I would like to stress on the importance of the task laid before us.

Your Committee on Finance will work closely with the country's economic and finance managers and all our government agencies, and consider our constituents' many concerns, to ensure that the national budget for this year will be socially inclusive and climate adaptive. This means that the budget will be responsive to the needs of the vulnerable sectors, as it will fund programs that are for economic development and for the growth of every citizen. It will seek to create progressive communities that are resilient; it will be instrumental in reducing poverty, in promoting sustainability and in preserving and promoting our cultural heritage.

We seek to attune the national budget with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will succeed the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) when these expire by the end of 2015. The SDGs aim to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, make cities more sustainable, combat climate change, promote peace and justice for all, and protect the environment and biodiversity.

While the SDGs are still being finalized and are set to be adopted in September, we already have to work together, we have to use these goals as framework as we incorporate them into our national development agenda by ensuring that government funds will be used to attain these targets.

Finally, we will scrutinize the national budget of 2016, in a manner that is transparent and consultative. We will make sure that the resources of our country are used judiciously and are for the common good.

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