Duterte signs P5.024 trillion national budget for 2022
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday signed into law the last national budget under his administration, a measure that is crucial in implementing the government’s response against the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery efforts.
In a ceremony in Malacañang, Duterte signed the proposed P5.024-trillion national budget for 2022, which was ratified by Congress on December 15.
“The passage of the General Appropriations Act of 2022 reflects the healthy collaboration among all branches of government which is crucial in the attainment of our national development goals especially during these trying times,” he said in a speech during the signing ceremony.
He added that the 2022 national budget will “cement” the administration’s “legacy of real change for future generations,” especially in “building resiliency amid the pandemic sustaining momentum towards recovery and continuing the legacy of infrastructure development.”
The President, however, expressed worry over the looming threat of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, saying it could hinder efforts to rebuild the country from the pandemic.
“‘Wag lang sana, if we are hit by the easy transmission of the character of this mutant, we will have again the same problem. It might translate into again, for government to pool again the resources for the new resurgence of COVID-19,” he said.
(I hope we will not be hit by this.)
He said he hopes the country would still be able to cope despite the variant’s presence but if it is more transmissible, he said it could leave the 2022 budget with no “elbow room” to respond to the threat.
“Kung nakakahawa uli maski bakunado ka, I really do not know how to… I just hope we will cope on if ever but we can hardly, mawawalan ng elbow room itong budget na ito to respond to the new challenge of a new variant of COVID-19,” Duterte said.
(If this is still transmissible even though you are vaccinated, I don’t really know how to… I just hope we will cope on if ever but we can hardly… The 2022 budget would be left with no elbow room to respond to the new challenge of a new variant of COVID-19.)
Key items in the 2022 spending bill include the P50 billion fund for COVID-19 vaccines and P22.9 billion, for the improvement of health facilities.
Funds for recovery operations after the onslaught of Typhoon ‘Odette’ in several provinces are also expected to be included in the 2022 budget.
The budget for next year is 11.5% higher than the P4.506-trillion budget for 2021.
Among the agencies with the highest budget allocation is the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Agriculture (DA), The Judiciary, and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
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