Romualdez: P500-B ayuda, funds for legacy projects part of budget

Romualdez: P500-B ayuda, funds for legacy projects part of 2024 budget

/ 09:01 PM December 19, 2023

Romualdez: P500-B ayuda, funds for legacy projects part of 2024 budget

House Speaker Martin Romualdez | PHOTO: Official website of the House of Representatives /

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has assured the public that the proposed 2024 national budget — which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is set to sign on Wednesday — has at least P500 billion allocated for social aid for 12 million poor families.

Romualdez on Tuesday explained that lawmakers have allocated such funds in the P5.768 trillion budget — or nine percent of the total amount — to aid poor households whose incomes are not enough to purchase basic commodities.


“For the first time, under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., we are allocating half-a-trillion pesos, or about nine percent of the national budget, as assistance to the poor and households with insufficient income,” Romualdez said.


“We are hoping that in some way, we are able to support people who badly need government help to get them through hard times,” he added.

Part of this assistance is a new program called Ayuda sa Kapos ang Kita or AKAP, which was announced by House committee on appropriations chairperson and Ako Bicol Rep. Elizaldy Co during the end of the bicameral conference committee meetings on the proposed budget.

Co said back then that workers earning less than P23,000 per month can get a one-time cash assistance of P5,000.

READ: Workers earning no more than P23,000 monthly to get P5,000 aid – House 

“It’s a P60-billion fund, whose aim is to provide direct cash assistance to the ‘near poor’ or families earning up to P23,000 a month.  At least 12 million households will benefit from it, including low-income workers like those in construction and factories, drivers, food service crew, and the like,” Romualdez said.

“If the program is successful, we can continue implementing it next year,” he added.


Aside from these, Romualdez said that existing government programs benefiting poor families like the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) under the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Tulong Pang-hanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantage/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) under the Department of Labor and Employment would continue to get funding.

AICS would get around P23 billion, while P30 billion has been allocated for TUPAD.

Meanwhile, the administration’s three legacy projects — Legacy Food Security, Legacy Specialty Hospitals, and Legacy Housing for the Poor — would also get sufficient funding.

“For Legacy Food Security, we allocated P5 billion to support our farmers with free irrigation, seeds, fertilizer, and other farm inputs. Another P5 billion is appropriated for the buying of their produce at market prices,” Romualdez said.

“By providing much-needed capital and buying their harvest, we will not only create jobs and assure the income of our farmers – we can ensure supply of affordable and high quality local rice,” he added.

Legacy Hospitals would also get funding, in a bid to finish projects within 2024.

“We hope to finish them within three years. For 2024, we have appropriated P1 billion for UP-Philippine General Hospital, P1.5 billion for National Kidney and Transplant Institute, P1 billion for Philippine Cancer Center, P1 billion for Philippine Children’s Medical Center, P1 billion for Bicol Regional Medical Center, and P500 million for Batangas Regional Medical Center,” Romualdez said.

For farmers, the Speaker believes the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has enough funds to expedite the implementation of irrigation projects amid the looming threat of the El Niño phenomenon.

READ: Bongbong Marcos may sign 2024 nat’l budget bill on Dec. 20, says Speaker 

The House restored part of NIA’s proposed budget which was slashed under the National Expenditures Program (NEP).

READ: Marcos to sign 2024 national budget on Dec. 20 – Zubiri 

“NIA has enough funds to do this. Congress allocated P80 billion for NIA to build more dams, water reservoirs and solar irrigation systems. More irrigated lands mean better food production,” he said.

READ: To fight El Niño: NIA asks House to restore P90-B budget that DBM slashed 

Romualdez meanwhile thanked Co, Senate finance committee chair Senator Sonny Angara, for accommodating requests regarding funding and for “crafting a pro-people budget under the Marcos administration.”

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Marcos, according to the Speaker and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, is expected to sign the budget into law by Wednesday.

TAGS: ayuda, House, Martin Romualdez, national budget, social aid, speaker

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