MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines has set an infrastructure budget of over 400 billion pesos ($9.6 billion) for 2013, the highest ever, as Manila pursues major upgrades of its ports, airports, road and bridge networks to speed up growth, the Budget chief said on Monday.
"The total infrastructure budget of the government will hit more than 400 billion pesos, or 19.3 percent more than the equivalent figure this year, so you can imagine the impact on employment, on reducing cost of doing business as well as expanding opportunities for the private sector," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad told reporters.
Manila is planning to propose to Congress an 11 percent increase in its spending budget to 2 trillion pesos ($48 billion) for 2013 against this year's 1.8 trillion pesos.
($1 = 41.8050 Philippine pesos)
Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Richard Pullin