VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte gets agriculture budget wrong; undersecretary agrees

Read this fact check in Filipino

President Rodrigo Duterte said the Department of Agriculture (DA) gets the biggest share of the national budget next to the Department of Education (DepEd). Agriculture undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat agreed.

Both are wrong.


In a Dec. 27 briefing in Lanao del Norte, three days after tropical storm Vinta left Mindanao, Duterte said:

Malaki naman ang appropriations namin sa agriculture. I think next to education, ang pinakamalaki is your department (The Department of Agriculture budget is big. I think next to the Department of Education, yours is the biggest)?”

Source: Remarks of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Meeting, Dec. 27, 2017, watch from 24:14 to 24:25

Puyat nodded.


The DA and its attached agencies got the ninth largest share of the 2017 national budget, with P45.22 billion.

Its attached agencies include the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Meat Inspection Service, Philippine Carabao Center, Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization, Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries and Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority.

In addition, it also received P4.90 billion for budgetary support to government corporations National Dairy Authority, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Sugar Corporation and Sugar Regulatory Administration.

DepEd got the largest share of the 2017 budget at P544.11 billion; followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), P454.72 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), P148.04 billion; Department of National Defense (DND), P137.18 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P128.30 billion; Department of Health (DOH), P96.34 billion; state universities and colleges (SUCs), P58.72 billion; and Department of Transportation (DOTr), P53.35 billion.

The 2018 national budget, which Duterte signed Dec. 19, provided P53.34 billion to the DA and its attached agencies, also the ninth largest share for the year. The DA also received P6.47 billion for budgetary support to government corporations.

This time, DPWH got the largest share at P637.86 billion; followed by DepEd, P553.31 billion; DILG, P170.76 billion; DND, P149.70 billion; DSWD, P141.81 billion; DOH, P107.30 billion; DOTr, P66.34 billion;and SUCs, P62.12 billion.

In his budget message upon submitting the 2018 budget GAA, Duterte said:

“Through this budget, we will lay down the foundation for a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay through investments in growth-enhancing infrastructure programs and innovations, inequality-reducing social services and peace-enabling initiatives.”

Source: President’s Budget Message for 2018, July 24, 2017

The first priority mentioned is “reducing inequality,” under which “expanding economic opportunities in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries” is listed.


Department of Budget and Management, Summary of 2018 General Appropriations Act

DBM, President’s Budget Message, July 24, 2017

DBM, Summary of 2017 General Appropriations Act

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative.

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