MANILA – The Duterte administration is seeking passage of a proposed PHP5.024 trillion national budget for next year to sustain its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Ang proposed para sa susunod na taon ay nasa PHP5.024 trillion, ang pinakamataas na budget sa ating kasaysayan (The proposed national budget is PHP5.024 trillion, the biggest budget in our history),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
Roque said the 2022 proposed budget, which is 11.5 percent higher than this year's PHP4.5 trillion budget, is being finalized and printed.
He said the Executive Branch plans to submit the NEP to Congress by Aug. 23.
Under the 2022 proposed budget, Roque said PHP1.922 trillion will go to the social services sector including health-related services and education-related programs.
He said the economic services sector will get the second-highest allocation with PHP1.474 trillion, which includes the implementation of flagship projects under the administration's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.
A total of PPH862.7 billion will be allocated for the general public services sector, PHP541.3 billion to pay the country’s debts, and PHP224.4 billion for the defense sector.
In terms of agencies, the Department of Education (DepEd) and its attached agencies will get the biggest slice of the budget with PHP773.6 billion.
Other agencies will get the following allocation:
*Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) -- PHP686.1 billion;
*Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) -- PHP250.4 billion;
*Department of Health (DOH) -- PHP242 billion;
*Department of National Defense (DND) -- PHP222 billion;
*Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) -- PHP191.4 billion;
*Department of Transportation (DOTr) -- PHP151.3 billion;
*Department of Agriculture and National Irrigation Administration (DA and NIA) -- PHP103.5 billion; and
*Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) -- PHP44.9 billion;
Meanwhile, Roque allayed concerns that the DPWH was allocated with a bigger budget than the DOH, the main agency in charge of the country’s pandemic response.
“Talaga pong priyoridad natin ang kalusugan sa panahon ng pandemya. Pero huwag po natin kalimutan yung ating mga [temporary treatment and monitoring facilities], yung ating mga modular hospitals, ang nagpapatupad po niyan DPWH din. So malaking bahagi po ng budget ng DPWH ay para din po sa ating Covid response (Health is really our priority in the time of the pandemic. But do not forget that the DPWH is in charge of putting up TTMFs and modular hospitals. So a huge part of DPWH’s budget also goes to our Covid response),” he said. (PNA)