The PHP7.909 billion proposed 2024 budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its attached agencies is now being prepared for presentation and discussion in the Senate plenary after it was approved on Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Finance’s subcommittee M chaired by Senator Mark Villar.
During the budget deliberation, Villar said he is looking forward to the DTI and its attached agencies to achieve their goals toward a more sustainable economy.
“As a chairperson of the Senate Committee on Trade, we will ensure that the budgets of the DTI and its attached agencies are sufficient and responsive in order to effectively implement their priority programs,” Villar said, expressing his full support to the agency.
However, Villar took notice of the budget allocation decrease in the consumer protection, consumer education and advocacy programs despite being one of the priority sectors for next year’s development agenda.
“I am looking forward to overseeing the discussion on the budget of one of the most essential key players in our national economy. It is all in our best interest to see through the effective discussion of the DTI’s budget as it will direct the trajectory of the future of Filipino individuals and businesses,” Villar said.
“To attain a sustainable economy, we must start with the development of the sustainability of our core projects for the Filipino people,” he added.
DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual told the panel that their proposed budget will be utilized in strengthening the purchasing power of Filipinos by ensuring food security, reducing transport and logistics cost, and reducing energy cost.
He said the DTI will also ensure sound macroeconomic fundamentals like improving bureaucratic efficiency and sound fiscal management.
By improving health, strengthening social protection and addressing learning losses, Pascual said the DTI can help reduce the country’s vulnerability and mitigate the economic aftermath of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Our direction in this administration is to implement industrialization through innovation and digitalization by transforming DTI into a more agile and responsive organization,” he said.
Pascual said the DTI will continue to support the Filipino workforce, as well as the development of the micro, small and medium enterprises.
“While we are not in these priorities, we must nonetheless prepare ourselves -our labor force, our industries, and our business environment for the future that we aspire to have- a more inclusive and prosperous Philippines with employment and income opportunities for all,” Pascual said.
Of the DTI’s 2024 proposed budget, the Office of the Secretary is proposing to spend PHP5.497 billion while its five attached agencies will share the remaining PHP2.412 billion. (PNA)