President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has recently signed into law the 2008 national budget.
It has been published in the official gazette, I think last March 16.
The national budget being a law, formally a Republic Act, No. 9498.
This year's national budget is the largest in the country's history.
This year's the budget reached the trillion peso mark.
The national budget is the most important single piece of legislation that the Congress passes every year.
It is also called the General Appropriations Act.
Each year the Executive department and Congress devote a lot of work time deliberating about the following year's budget.
In a small scale, national budgeting is no different from making and balancing the family budget.
In a family, mother usually budgets the family income so that it would be sufficient to cover the needs of the family.
In a family there must be enough for daily food sustenance, clothing, for vitamins and health needs of the children, maintenance of the household fixtures, etc.
The father who often works to generate income will have to report his income so that the family will know what are the resources that will be matched agasint the expenses to sustain the needs of the family.
That is basic budgeting.
Expand that to a larger scale, the nation is like one big family.
The government determines how much is the income, as derived from the the taxes paid, as well as other income generating resources, such as tourism revenues.
Then these revenues are matched against expenditures to sustain the needs of the people.
So budgeting by and for a single family and budgeting by and for the nation are not that different, except on the magnitude.
The members of the family have to make sure that money is not put to waste.
In the same manner every citizen, you and I, must make sure that none of the money for public expenditures must be put to waste or worse, to corruption.
Every citizen must be vigilant and be informed about the national budget.
We need to monitor what has been stipulated in the general appropriations act, and ultimately its implementation.
Admittedly though, the national budget is a very thick piece of law.
The printed version of the law is about two inches thick.
Nonetheless, we should learn to read and understand it, so that we can monitor how our taxes are being spent.
All of us a stakeholders in having an efficient budget that translates to services and benefits to our people.
Paloma property - This afternoon, December 27, 2008, after having luch in san Jose town, here in Negros Oriental, my father took us to a piece of beach lot he bought years a...
9 years ago