More Taxes, Less Services this Year

Thus, in 2000, the government spent P3, 459.70 ($66.93) for every Filipino aged 5-24 per year, or P9.48 ($0.18) for every student each day. Under the proposed 2006 budget, the government will be spending only P2, 871.05 ($55.54) for every Filipino of school age per year, or P7.87 ($0.15) per day.

Within the education sector, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) gets the biggest share of the pie for 2006, with an annual budget of P325.13 ($6.29) for each enrollee. The University of the Philippines (UP) comes at a far second with P125.34 ($2.42) for each enrollee per year. Other state universities and colleges will have to put up with a combined budget of only P17.26 ($0.33) per enrollee this year.

But if the education sector fares badly, the health sector is in worse straits. In 2000, the government spent P191 ($3.69) for every Filipino per year – or about P0.52 ($0.01) a day. Under the proposed 2006 budget, the government will be spending only P119 ($2.30) for every Filipino every year, or about P0.33 ($0.006) a day. “That’s not even enough to buy an aspirin tablet,” Casiño said.

In contrast, allocations for debt servicing and defense have been growing nominally and in terms of real value for the last six years.

In 2000, Filipinos each paid P1, 836 ($35.51) for debt every year. Under the proposed 2006 budget, every Filipino will be paying P2, 968 ($57.41) a year for debt.

In 2000, each Filipino spent P429 ($8.30) a year for defense, while in the proposed 2006 budget the government will be collecting P458 ($8.86) annually for the same item. This does not even include the P3 billion ($58,038,305) allotted for the counter-insurgency program and the P1.2 billion ($23,215,322) for intelligence funds. (Bulatlat.com)

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