Duterte sees ‘brighter days’ ahead for PH, urges Congress to pass 2021 budget for COVID-19 recovery
MANILA, Philippines — “Brighter days” await the Philippines beyond these “bleak times” due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte told Congress as he called for support on the proposed P4.506 trillion national budget for 2021 to aid the country’s recovery.
In his budget message to lawmakers, Duterte acknowledged Filipinos’ continued suffering due to the respiratory disease that has already sickened 209,544 people nationwide as of Friday.
Nonetheless, the President expressed optimism that the country will prevail and that Filipinos will reclaim their normal lives.
“Despite the turbulence of a world health crisis, I stand steady, with the same confidence and certainty — but now of one who believes that beyond these bleak times are brighter days,” Duterte said.
“Indeed, we have gone through a lot these past months. But let me say this. We will prevail. Our people, gifted with faith, resiliency, and creativity, will overcome this crisis. We will heal, and we will recover, and we will win.”
He added: “And that is why, more than ever before, we will need a strong foundation and support for our program of a resurgence, through this Proposed National Budget. And the way we will manage and utilize this Budget — our financial program for the forthcoming year — will be the first milestone in a new chapter of our journey.”
The President, who was earlier criticized for lashing out against health workers, likewise recognized the heroism of medical frontliners.
“Mahirap tumbasan ang inalay nila para sa bayan (It’s hard to match what they have sacrificed for the country). We are forever grateful,” he said.
The President then claimed that the proposed 2021 national budget would help provide support for the government’s “program of resurgence.”
“With your review and speedy approval of our proposed National Budget of P4.506 trillion for Fiscal Year 2021, we will get back on our journey, on the road again — moving forward, getting our ‘normal’ back, reclaiming our future,” Duterte said.
The executive department earlier submitted the proposed 2021 budget to Congress.
The Philippines is currently on its worst economic downturn in nearly three decades as it suffered a recession during the first half of 2020.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.