Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the ceremonial signing of the General Appropriations Act of 2023

Event Ceremonial Signing of the General Appropriations Act of 2023
Location Malacañan Palace

Thank you very much for your introduction, our Executive Secretary, Secretary Lucas Bersamin. [Please]

Vice President Inday Sara Duterte; the Senate President Migz Zubiri; the House Speaker, Speaker Martin Romualdez; members of the Cabinet; members of the Senate; the members of the diplomatic corps who have joined us at this historic moment; officials of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines; the leaders from the business sectors of the Philippines; development partners in the international community; fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

I have been greeted by many of you as we had our pictures taken. Merry Christmas.

Well, I will have I suppose a Merry Christmas because this is as fine a Christmas gift as can be received by any president from his legislature. [applause]

I cannot overstate the significance of the fact that as Speaker Martin continually reminds me, this is the quickest and the fastest — and the SP — the fastest passage of the national budget that we have seen so far. [applause]

And why is that important? Well, it is important because the budget is essentially the roadmap that we are going — that essentially defines and gives muscle to the roadmap of what we intend to do for the next year.

And to see that the rapidity of the passage is significant because it means that this budget, the roadmap that we have proposed from the Executive is fully supported by our legislature. And that is very, very important indeed. Because it is what is essentially or sometimes regarded as a long, difficult, long-drawn-out process has been shown to still be able to express that kind of support, that kind of solidarity with the Executive.

And that bodes well for us, seeing as we have many, many plans. There are many things that we need to do. There are many things that we would like to do. And we are slowly moving in that direction. We are doing all the structural changes that we need. The legislature has been very cooperative in making what amendments that we find are necessary to the laws in terms of investment,  in terms of financial — our financial policy. All of these elements that are important for us to position ourselves in the new — I nearly said new society — in the new economy after the pandemic.

So again, it bodes well for our future, for the next year at the very least. We know that we are all together and that we will be moving in a very, on the way to transformation of our economy, and we will be moving in the same direction, following the same plan, following the same — with the understanding that this is the best path to progress, this is the best path to prosperity.

So it is a very important day. It is always an important day when we sign into law the General Appropriations Act. It is always very important that the GAA has been put together in consonance with all of the plans of the executive. And that kind of coordination and that kind of synergy that we will gain from that is going to be an essential part of the way that we move forward.

And so I can only thank our friends in the legislature, the members of the Senate, the members of course of the House, and the leadership in our Senate President Migz Zubiri and our Speaker Martin Romualdez and all of those who I know have worked very, very hard.

I had a picture with the DBM and the DBM staff. And I’ve met with them before. It’s the first time I’ve seen them smiling again because tapos na ‘yung trabaho nila. [applause]

But they are just one group who have been working very, very hard at this. And we will not have achieved this kind of consolidation and solidarity if not for all of your hard work in — that includes on the part of the Executive to be able to explain and to be able to justify and validate the plans that we had made for the legislature. And we have arrived now at this very important day and I thank you all once again.

And what we have achieved here in terms of the fact that we have been able to put into place the budgeting requirements for all that it is that we plan to do and that we did it in record time, that is a significant, significant achievement. And for that, I can only thank you all.

I know that it did not come easily.  It never does. I know that you have worked very, very hard at it. And I am just very happy to see that your hard work has borne such sweet fruit. Thank you very much and good afternoon and Merry Christmas to everyone.  [applause]

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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)