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Duterte signs off on his first 'populist' budget

Record spending on infrastructure, college tuition, irrigation, and war on drugs

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President Rodrigo Duterte signed the 3.35-trillion-peso ($67 billion) 2017 Philippine budget at Malacanang, the presidential palace in Manila, on Dec. 22.   © Reuters

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte signed his first annual budget on Thursday, stepping up social services and infrastructure spending next year.

Duterte became Philippine president on June 30, and plans a record budget of 3.35 trillion pesos ($67.5 billion) in 2017, up 11.6% from this year.

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