Gov’t to submit P 5-trillion 2022 budget today
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is expected to submit to Congress today its detailed proposal on the P5.024 trillion national budget for 2022 after the legislature’s two-week suspension due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.
“We will tackle as many bills and resolutions as possible to make up for the time lost during the ECQ,” Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said in a statement on Sunday.
He earlier said House sessions would be similar to previous sessions where some lawmakers were physically present during the proceedings while others participated through video conference.
Sessions will be from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., with only the speaker, majority leader, minority leader, some representatives and a limited number of secretariat personnel be allowed inside the plenary hall.
The House is eyeing to pass next year’s budget before the filing of certificates of candidacies this October.
Social services get bulk
Once the House receives the 2022 National Expenditure Program (NEP), Velasco said House appropriations chair Rep. Eric Yap would begin the budget deliberations as soon as possible.
“We are ready to carry out our constitutional duty of carefully scrutinizing the NEP and eventually pass a national budget that is truly reflective and responsive to the needs of Filipinos as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on people’s lives and the economy,” Velasco said.
Under the new spending bill, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the social services sector, which includes COVID-19 vaccine procurement and universal health care, would receive the highest allocation at P1.92 trillion.
The economic service sector that involves key infrastructure projects will be allocated P1.47 trillion, Roque said.
It will be the last budget for President Rodrigo Duterte, who will end his single six-year term in June but will be fraught with challenges.
5 quarters of recession
The Philippines, which was among the fastest-growing economies in Asia before the pandemic, exited recession in the second quarter here after five consecutive quarters of contraction.
A renewed surge in COVID-19 cases, driven by the virulent Delta variant, has brought total infections to 1.75 million and deaths to 30,366, government data show.
Roque said the general public services sector would get P862.7 billion, the defense sector would get P224.4 billion, and the debt burden would get P541.3 billion.
Under the NEP proposal, the education sector (Department of Education, State Universities and Colleges, Commission on Higher Education) was allocated P773.6 billion.
The Department of Public Works and Highways will get P686.1 billion, Department of the Interior and Local Government P250.4 billion, Department of Health P242 billion, Department of National Defense P222 billion, Department of Social Welfare and Development P191.4 billion, Department of Transportation P151.3 billion, Department of Agriculture and National Irrigation Administration P103.5 billion and Department of Labor and Employment P44.9 billion.
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