House earmarks P20-B for vaccines, P4.5-B for health workers’ SRA in 2022 budget
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives earmarked an additional P20 billion for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots as well as P4.5 billion for the special risk allowance (SRA) of healthcare workers in the proposed 2022 national budget.
House appropriations panel chairman Rep. Eric Yap said the adjustment is part of the amendments made by the small committee in the lower chamber created to finalize the proposed 2022 national budget to be transmitted to the Senate.
Under the amended House Bill No. 10153 or the 2022 General Appropriations Bill, an additional P20 billion is lodged under the Department of Health (DOH) for the procurement of vaccines and booster shots.
Also under the DOH is a P4.5 billion budget for the SRA of qualified public and private health workers.
To recall, lawmakers, during the deliberations on the national budget, questioned the lack of funding for SRA in the initial version of the proposed 2022 budget.
In addition, the lower chamber also allocated P5 billion for the Medical Assistance to Indigent Patients (MAIP) program of the DOH.
The House also allocated budgets for the following agencies’ projects and programs:
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
- P10 billion for the Tulong Pangkabuhayan as Ating Disadvantaged or Displaced Workers Program (TUPAD);
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- P10 billion for the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), which includes food assistance, food packs, transportation, medical, burial assistance, assistance to students, cash/food for work and other assistance to individuals, sectors, communities in especially difficult circumstances;
- P1 billion for the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP);
- P6 billion for the Service Contracting Program (SCP) which extends the assistance to transport drivers;
State Universities and Colleges (SUCs)
- P504 million for the operational requirement of four SUCs in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM);
- P3 billion for the National Broadband Program which seeks to set-up well-established network to provide faster, efficient, and equitable broadband connectivity to the country;
Department of National Defense (DND)
- P5.5 billion for the down payment for the acquisition of 5 Units of C-130 J for the Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) operations of the Philippine Air Force (PAF)
Yap said the House is expected to transmit the finalized lower chamber-approved version of the proposed 2022 national budget to the Senate on October 27.
“Our commitment remains the same: to provide the enabling mechanisms for a responsive and dynamic governance and to strengthen the capabilities of the government in addressing the effects of the pandemic,” Yap said.
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