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Senate OKs P3Tn 2016 budgetThe Senate has approved on third and final reading the proposed P3.002-trillion national budget for 2016. After several hours of debates that lasted until evening yesterday, the proposed national budget was approved with a vote of 14 to 1, with the lone nay vote coming from Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III. Voting in favor were Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senanotrs Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Juan Ponce Enrile, Francis Escudero, Teofisto Guingona III, Loren Legarda, Sergio Osmeña III, Grace Poe, Ralph Recto, Vicente Sotto III and Antonio Trillanes IV. The Department of National Defense received a P10.78-billion increase in its budget, the bulk of which went to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) as proposed by Sen. Enrile. Sen. Enrile pushed for an increase in the PAF budget for the training of pilots and the purchase of new planes. A total of P10.06 billion was added to the PAF budget.
Economic growth picks up to 6% in 3QEconomic growth slightly picked up in the 3rd quarter as government spent more and household consumption increased, the country’s economic manager said. In a press briefing yesterday, Economic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general Arsenio Balisacan said gross domestic product (GDP) growth hit the 6% mark in the 3rd quarter, an improvement from 5.8% the previous quarter and the 3-year low 5% in the first 3 months. In the same quarter last year, GDP expanded at a slower pace of 5.5%. He said for the first 9 months of 2015, growth stood at 5.6%, making a 6% full-year target “very much likely given even better prospects for the last quarter.” This makes the Philippines one of the fastest-growing major Asian economies. The country’s GDP growth was the 3RD fastest after China’s 6.9% and Vietnam’s 6.8%.