Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III on December 20 signed a budget of nearly 2.3 trillion pesos (51 billion USD) for 2014 which gives priority to socio-economic services.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the presidential palace, Aquino said this is the fourth straight year the budget has been approved on time.

This will not only help the Government undertake priority projects immediately but also close loopholes that can lead to the abuse of power and national coffers," he stressed.

The budget of the Philippine government for next year is 13 percent higher than that allocated for 2013.

The Philippine government vowed to spend the fund judiciously and has come up with a scheme in which an agency's overall budget is tied to specific standards of performance and service delivery.

The 2014 budget also no longer contains the so-called Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or government funds as they have been tagged as the source of corruption.

The President said his government is increasing the budget for social services by more than 20 percent next year, including the building and reconstruction of more than 43,000 classrooms.

To sustain the country's growth momentum, Aquino said the government has allotted 593.1 billion pesos to economic services, adding that infrastructure is a top priority.

An estimated 3.2 percent of the Philippines’ GDP will go to roads, bridges, ports, airports and irrigation projects in order to achieve inclusive growth sooner, he said.

He added that 10.7 billion pesos will be allocated for the farming sector while 5.5 billion pesos will be earmarked for local tourism promotion.-VNA