By Azer Parrocha

Department of Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (File photo)

MANILA – Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Sunday urged Filipinos to put “faith and confidence” in the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. as the country ushers 2023.

In her New Year’s Day message, Pangandaman acknowledged that the past few years have put the nation to the test but Filipinos have managed to soldier on.

“We were confronted with the pandemic, as well as calamities and challenges here and abroad. But, in the end, our courage, unity and resilience prevailed. The indomitable spirit of the Filipino people remained steadfast and unwavering,” she said.

She, likewise, expressed confidence that the Marcos administration will work hard to achieve its goal of lifting more Filipinos out of poverty with the passage of the PHP5.268-trillion national budget for 2023.

“As we usher into 2023, let us put faith and confidence to our national leadership and to our fellow countrymen, as we all steer our nation forward and to the right direction,” she said.

“Rest assured that following President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s signing of the 2023 General Appropriations Act, we will soldier on towards economic recovery and transformation. As the President says time and again— In this administration, no Filipino will be left behind,” she added.

Pangandaman also hoped that all Filipinos enter the new year with “gratitude, greater zeal and optimism.”

She earlier underscored that the 2023 budget was crafted in support of the Marcos administration’s 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda and the Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF).

Anchored on the theme, “Agenda for Prosperity: Economic Transformation Towards Inclusivity and Sustainability,” the proposed budget seeks to address the immediate and pressing concerns of all Filipinos in the near- and medium-term.

On Dec. 16, Marcos signed into law the 2023 national budget that is geared towards achieving post-pandemic economic recovery.

He said the 2023 national budget will provide the government with a tool to transform the economy and carry out the needed structural changes toward realizing the administration’s goals.

The Marcos administration’s first spending measure is 4.9 percent higher or PHP244.4 billion more than 2022 budget of PHP5.023 trillion and puts top priority on education, infrastructure development, health, agriculture and social safety nets. (PNA)