P4.5-T nat'l budget for 2021 on its way to Malacañang | Inquirer News
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P4.5-T nat’l budget for 2021 on its way to Malacañang

/ 09:45 PM December 17, 2020
senate house velasco sotto

Newly-installed House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Senate President Vicente Sotto. INQUIRER and SENATE PRIB FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Thursday signed the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget for 2021, a week after Congress ratified its final version.

Velasco first affixed his signature to the final copy of the proposed budget before it was sent to Sotto for his signature.

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In a message to reporters, Sotto said the final copy of the proposed budget will be transmitted to Malacañang Thursday night or Friday morning.

According to Velasco, the government’s 2021 budget plan is the “single-most powerful tool” to fight COVID-19 and help Filipinos and the economy recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

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House Committee on Appropriations Chair Eric Yap and House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza witnessed Velasco’s signing of the budget, the speaker’s office told reporters.

Among the salient provisions of the budget bill is the P72.5 billion allocation for the government’s vaccination program. Of the amount, P2.5 billion will be lodged under the Department of Health (DOH) while the rest is placed under unprogrammed appropriations.

According to data earlier provided by the office of Senate finance committee chair Sonny Angara, the education sector will receive the biggest chunk of the proposed budget amounting to P708.181 billion.

The education sector covers the Department of Education, State Universities and Colleges, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The Department of Public Works and Highways got the second-highest shares at P694.822 billion, while the health sector came in third with P287.472 billion.

The health sector’s funding will cover the Department of Health, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), specialty hospitals, the Philippine Institute Of Traditional And Alternative Health Care, and the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP), as well as the COVID-19 vaccine.

Other government agencies with the highest allocations in 2021 budget are as follows:

  • Department of Interior and Local Government – P247.506 billion
  • Department of National Defense – P205.471 billion
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development – P176.659 billion
  • Department of Transportation – P87.445 billion
  • Department of Agriculture – P68.622 billion
  • Judiciary – P44.108 billion
  • Department of Labor and Employment – P36.606 billion

Some P23 billion, meanwhile, will be earmarked for the government’s rehabilitation efforts following Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.

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