MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed 2022 national budget, leaving it up for President Rodrigo Duterte to sign it into law.
During Wednesday’s plenary session, the House ratified the budget which contained several tweaks, including placing P17.1 billion to the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) — which was initially cut down in the Senate committee to just P4 billion, from the original proposed P28 billion.
According to the House committee on appropriations chair and ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap, the budget remains focused on the COVID-19 response, and educational institutions.
The special risk allowance for health workers also received almost P50-billion budget, another P50 billion was allocated for booster vaccine shots against COVID-19.
“Sa amin naman sa House, nagfocus kami talaga sa COVID-19 at syempre sa universities, ‘yong mga SUCS. ‘Yong SRA, yan ang pinaka importante samin sa House lalong-lalo na kay Speaker, naglagay tayo ng halos P50 billion po sa SRA, and syempre po yung booster shot ng vaccine na halos P50 billion din po,” Yap told reporters earlier.
Aside from that, funding was also placed for the purchase of more military equipment.
“And ‘yong sa Air Force yung C-130 na worth P3.5 billion, dinagdag natin yan kasi gusto po natin mas dumami yung C-130 natin dahil ngayon may pandemic, dito natin nakita ‘yong importance ng C-130 eh,” Yap explained.
And syempre nandyan na rin yung SUCs na halos P32 billion ang nilagay natin. Bakit SUCs? Kasi ngayon po, pabalik na tayo halos eh sa physical na mga classes, so yung universities po natin hindi pwedeng mapabayaan,” he added.
Initially, the executive branch proposed a P5.024 trillion budget for 2022, with a huge portion of the national budget allocated to social services, amounting to P1.922 trillion or 38.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Economic services would get P1.474 trillion or 29.3 percent of the GDP.
General public services would get P862.7 billion or 17.2 percent; debt burden with P541.3 billion or 10.8 percent; while defense spending would be at P224.4 billion or 4.5 percent.
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