Duterte approves P5 trillion national budget for 2022

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday signed the P5.024-trillion national budget for 2022 into law.

On Thursday, December 30, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the government’s budget for 2022 in a ceremony with lawmakers, providing a new stream of cash for managing the coronavirus outbreak and assisting areas ravaged by Typhoon Odette (international name Rai).

“I want to express my appreciation to the members of Congress for ensuring the timely ratification of the more than P5-trillion national budget,” Duterte said in a speech following the signing.

The 2022 General Appropriations Bill, or the version of the proposed budget authorized by Congress, was signed into law by Duterte. It gives the government a total budget of P5.024 trillion, an increase of 11% above previous year’s budget. It is also the Duterte administration’s final government budget.

“I also recognize the efforts of our government agencies, our partners in civil society and other public servants who took part in the crafting of this important legislation,” he said.

The budget approval ensures that additional funds will be available to respond to Odette’s onslaught and to rehabilitate devastated communities. Duterte, who claimed that money for Odette in 2021 were “immensely exhausted,” was told that the budget deficits might be filled in 2022.

Duterte said the passage of the law “reflects the healthy collaboration among all branches of government which is crucial in the attainment of our development goals especially during these trying times.”

The Department of Education receives the largest agency budget, as it does in all national budgets, but lawmakers underlined how the money will contribute to pandemic response in remarks about the final general appropriations measure.

The 2022 budget also includes funding for the COVID-19 Laboratory Network Commodities, the Department of Health’s (DOH) epidemiology and surveillance program, the acquisition of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, medicines, and vaccines, and the DOH’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program.

Meanwhile, Duterte also signed Republic Act 11641, or the law establishing the Department of Migrant Workers, during the same ceremony.