House, Malacanang hold early budget talks

HOUSE Committee on Appropriations chairman Eric Go Yap, together with other House leaders, has started meeting officials of the executive department to discuss the 2021 national budget.

According to Yap, the focus of their meeting is to discuss how to help most affected sectors during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) through budget allocation.

On April 16, Yap held a preliminary meeting with Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado to discuss the priorities for the 2021 National Budget.

Initially, Yap said both the executive and legislative underscored the need to provide more assistance not just to the poorest families but also the small businesses because they are the most affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Para sa 2021 National Budget, priority natin tugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng higit na naapektuhan ng COVID-19 crisis, hindi lang ang mga mahihirap, kung hindi ang iba ding industriya gaya ng mga Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),” Yap said.

“Kailangan nila ng assistance mula sa ating pamahalaan para naman makabangon sila sa naging epekto ng krisis na ito at hindi magdulot ng masamang chain reaction sa labor force," the House leader added.

The 45-day ECQ has caused a economic slowdown and target growth might not be achieved in the next quarters of the year.

Because of this, the House of Representatives sees the need to make adjustments on priority projects and program this year and in 2021.

“Nag-uusap na ang Executive at ang Legislative as early as now to agree on the priorities for the 2021 budget,” Yap said.

“We’re just at the second quarter of 2020, but we have to be proactive and discuss our funding for next year. We have to prepare, alam natin na matapos man ang krisis na ito, ang epekto nito ay tatagal at mararamdaman pa rin ng ating mga kababayan. Rest assured, the government is here to provide assistance,” he explained.