DBM: P5-trillion 2022 budget focuses on sustaining gov’t’s COVID response
MANILA, Philippines — The proposed P5-trillion national budget for fiscal year 2022 aims to sustain the government’s efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) assured Tuesday.
In a statement, the agency said provisions of the 2022 budget, which it said underwent consultations with agencies, include the procurement of COVID-19 testing kits, hiring of medical frontliners, establishment of the Virology Institute of the Philippines, and the continuous implementation of health programs under the Universal Health Care law.
Funds for procuring COVID-19 booster shots are also included in the 2022 budget under unprogrammed appropriations.
Other programs supported under the proposed 2022 budget also include budgetary support for universal access to quality tertiary education, the conduct of the national ID system, and assistance to “disadvantaged” local government units, the DBM said.
“The government will also boost economic recovery and provide a modernized public transport system by continuously investing in the Build, Build, Build program which is expected to created jobs and catalyze business activities all over the country,” the agency added.
The DBM said it has already submitted the proposed budget to the Office of the President on July 26, the same day as President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (Sona).
It is currently finalizing the 2022 national expenditure program (NEP) and other related budget documents for printing in time for its submission to both houses of Congress on or before the 30-day deadline since Duterte’s Sona.
The proposed 2022 budget, which amounts to P5.024 trillion, is equivalent to 22.8% of the gross domestic product and is higher by 11.5% than the 2021 national budget, the DBM said.
Malacañang has assured that preparations for the proposed 2022 budget would remain unhampered even if DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado is on medical leave to recover from his bout with COVID-19.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Avisado was able to submit the proposed budget before going on medical leave and it is currently being printed before it is passed on to Congress for deliberations.
Avisado is on medical leave from August 2 to 13 on the advice of his doctor. The budget chief was afflicted with COVID-19, was hospitalized for eight days and went under quarantine for “over a month,” the DBM earlier said.
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