Metro Manila, Philippines— President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed on Friday the ₱5.268-trillion government budget for 2023, the first full one-year spending plan under his administration.

Marcos approved the 2023 General Appropriations Bill during a ceremonial signing in Malacañang.

This came less than two weeks after Congress ratified the proposed spending plan.

The 2023 budget, which is 4.9% higher than this year’s, seeks to support the current administration’s goal of economic transformation, with the infrastructure and education sectors securing the largest shares.

In his speech, Marcos attributed the swift passage of the proposed budget to the “full” support of the legislature.

“We did it in record time, that’s a significant achievement,” he said.

Marcos also said the legislature “has been very cooperative” as the Philippines implements structural changes, which he stressed are necessary to bolster the economy post-pandemic.

“The legislature has been very cooperative in making what amendments are necessary in investments, financial policies, all of these elements that are important for us to position ourselves in the new economy after the pandemic,” he said.

The first government budget under Marcos’ watch was criticized by opposition lawmakers for allocating confidential and intelligence funds, including those for the office of Vice President Sara Duterte and the Department of Education, which the latter also heads.