House receives proposed 2021 national budget

Martin Romualdez
2021 PROPOSED BUDGET --- House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (3rd right) and House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep Martin Romualdez (left) receives the copy of Proposed 4.506 Trillion Budget for 2021 from Department of Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado (3rd left) during the aubmission ceremony at the plenary of the House of Representatives, with them are Deputy Speakers,Deputy Majority Leadera and Minority Leaders. photo by Ver Noveno

THE House of Representatives, led by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, yesterday received from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the proposed 2021 national budget.

The National Expenditure Program (NEP) for next year is pegged at P4.5 trillion or 9.9 percent higher than this year’s budget of P4.1 trillion.

The proposed 2021 national budget will prioritize government spending and improving the healthcare system to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado said.

“In behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte, we transmit  this proposed national budget  to Congress for your consideration and approval. The 4th year of the administration is facing different challenge because of the COVID-19,” Avisado told lawmakers present at the simple ceremony held in Batasan Complex.

Avisado said the administration ensures the people of budget for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for the poor Filipinos,  as well as more PPEs and other medical supplies for the healthworkers.

And while the education sector is implementing online and distance learning, the Department of Education (DepED) is still getting the lion’s share of the budget.

Likewise for 2021, the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration will continue.

In his acceptance speech, Cayetano echoed Duterte’s warning to corrupt officials who will be using the disbursement of the budget as an opportunity for illegal actions.

Cayetano vowed to scrutinize the budget and passed it at the latest the end of September.

“Ito ang totoong Bayanihan fund. Hindi ito hiningi ni Pangulo. But this is for post COVID.Very challenging ang susunod na taon kasi papunta ito sa recovery stage,” Cayetano pointed out.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House committee on appropriations and ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap said Congress will ensure that next year’s budget will help Filipinos recover from the pandemic.

“We intend to sustain our economic growth and build on our previous gains while facing the pandemic head-on. Layon nating maisaayos agad ang pagpasa ng budget at tiyakin na hindi lamang sa panahon ng pandemya mararamdaman ang tulong kundi sa pang araw-araw na buhay rin ng bawat Filipino,” Yap said in his speech.

The top 10 departments with bigger budgets: DepED (P754.4 billion); Department of Public Works and Highways (P667.3 billion); Department of the Interior and Local Government (P246.1 billion); Department of National Defense (P209.1 billion); Department of Health (P203.1 billion); Department of Social Welfare and Development (P171.2 billion); Department of Transportation (P143.6 billion); Department of Agriculture (P66.4 billion); The Judiciary (P43.5 billion) and Department of Labor and Employment (P27.5 billion).