P7B cut from programs for poor in 2021 budget | Inquirer News

P7B cut from programs for poor in 2021 budget

/ 04:53 AM December 16, 2020

Congress has slashed P7 billion from the government’s pro poor programs in the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA), which was to be realigned to fund other items, including the P83 billion addition for public works projects, according to its bicameral conference report on the proposed spending measure.

The report also indicates that the bicameral panels also slashed P4.877 billion from the proposed funding for the purchase of vaccines, even as P75.2 billion was lodged under the “unprogrammed” items.

The enrolled bill on the P4.5-trillion proposed budget for 2021, said to be the biggest in the country’s history, is awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.


It has, however, been met with criticism, as it does not meet the budgeting principle espoused by the executive department of “Reset, Rebuild and Recover,” as a tool for recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and a string of natural calamities that hit the country this year.


Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who voted against the ratification of the measure, criticized how the bicameral committee “mangled” the budget bill to accommodate the requests of lawmakers to fund their pet projects.

He questioned how the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was allotted P694.82 billion, after receiving an additional P83.87 billion and a deduction of P55.52 billion in the bicameral committee report.

The DPWH budget posted a net increase of P28.35 billion, despite the irregularities surrounding public works projects that were previously cited by Lacson.

Among the departments that suffered the biggest cuts in the bicameral version include the Department of Transportation (P87.45 billion) and the Department of Education (P11.41 billion).

Lower budget for 4Ps

Under the measure, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to receive a total budget of P176.66 billion in the enrolled version of the 2021 GAA, after it was given P12.61 billion more but cut by P8.94 billion, according to the report.

The bulk of the budget cut involved the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) by P7 billion, from P113.8 billion to P106.8 billion, according to the document.


It, however, introduced a new provision on funding for “rice subsidy,” in the amount of about P29.35 billion, which allots P600 of monthly financial assistance to all qualified 4Ps beneficiaries.

The spending bill authorizes the DSWD to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the National Food Authority, for the purchase and distribution of rice to 4Ps beneficiaries “when the price of palay drops to a critical level.”

The 2021 GAA also allots an additional P271.15 million, for the provision of P500 monthly stipend as social pension for indigent senior citizens.

The insertions on the 2021 budget also provides an added P3.83 billion for DSWD’s supplementary feeding program for children ages 2 to 4 and under 5 years.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The 2021 budget also slashed more than P1.99 billion from the National Greening Program, from P5.15 billion to P3.16 billion, lodged with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. INQ

TAGS: 4Ps, Budget cut

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.