COVID-19, calamity response among ‘prime considerations’ in bicam for 2021 budget | Inquirer News
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COVID-19, calamity response among ‘prime considerations’ in bicam for 2021 budget

/ 01:49 PM December 01, 2020
senator sonny angara

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Sonny Angara. Senate PRIB file photo / Joseph Vidal

MANILA, Philippines – Funding for government response to calamities and the coronavirus pandemic are among the “primary considerations” as the bicameral conference
committee began its discussion on the proposed national budget for next year, Senator Sonny Angara said Tuesday.

Angara, who chairs the Senate committee on finance, said both the Senate and House contingents to the bicam are both focused on responding to the pandemic and calamities,
especially following the recent series of typhoons that ravaged the country.

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“I heard the Speaker [Lord Allan Velasco] say it’s (vaccine) one of the things he wants to consider so I think dun palagay ko magiging priority ‘yun sa vaccine, health response tsaka yung
accompanying expenses for that, yung storage, tsaka anything COVID related I think is really ‘yung priority,” Angara told reporters.

(I heard Speaker Lord Allan Velasco say that vaccine is one of the things he wants to consider so I think that will be a priority together with health response and
accompanying expenses such as storage. I think anything COVID related is really a priority.)

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“In addition to that ‘yung calamity spending would also be very, very important, isa sa mga prime considerations,” the senator added.

(In addition to that, there is calamity spending which would also be very important, that’s also a prime consideration.)

Angara said that in the Senate version of the 2021 budget, funds are set aside specifically for calamity response.

“It’s a matter of seeing how much the House also wants to, how to treat that and convincing them na that should be a priority. Sabi ko nga that should be the
least of our worries kasi i think everyone knows that’s one of the challenges of our country,” Angara said.

(It’s a matter of seeing how much the House wants to allocate, how to treat that and convincing them that it should be a priority. Though that should be the least
of our worries because I think everyone knows that’s one of the challenges of our country.)

Representatives from the Senate and the House met Tuesday morning for the first meeting of the bicameral conference committee to settle the disagreeing provisions of the two
chambers in the 2021 budget.

“The members decided to delegate to the chairs of the panel, si [House appropriations] Chair Eric Yap at sa amin, na kami yung mag usap dun sa
differences and we pledge to consult with them on the results of the discussions,” Angara said.

(The members decided to delegate to the chairs of the panel, myself and House appropriations chair Eric Yap, to talk about the differences and we pledge to consult with
them on the results of the discussions.)

JPV

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TAGS: 2021 budget, Bicam, House, Senate, Sonny Angara
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