Politics

House passes proposed P5.024 trillion national budget for 2022

Batasang Pambansa. (File photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed P5.024-trillion national budget for 2022 was approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday.

With 213 affirmative votes, 6 negative votes and no abstention, the lower chamber passed on final reading House Bill No. 10153 or the 2022 General Appropriations Bill which seeks to “fortify the four main fronts of the pandemic battle strategy: health and nutrition, social protection, governance, and development.”

Under the proposed 2022 national expenditure plan, the education sector has the highest budget with P773.6 billion. This covers the Department of Education (DepEd), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) followed with an allocation of P686.1 billion, then the Department of the Interior and Local Government (P250.4 billion), the Department of Health (P242 billion), the Department of National Defense (P222 billion), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (P191.4 billion), and the Department of Transportation (P110.9 billion).

In terms of pandemic response, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said his agency originally proposed a budget of P73.99 billion for COVID-19 response next year but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only approved P19.68 billion.

READ: Duque: DBM only approved P19.68B out of P73.99B DOH-proposed budget for 2022 COVID response

The proposed 2022 national budget was approved on the second and third reading in the House after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the measure as urgent.

The certification allows the House to expedite the budget’s passage without waiting for three days between second and third reading approval.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco earlier said the House is eyeing to pass the measure before the scheduled Congress break on October 1.

The proposed budget will be transmitted to the Senate for further deliberations and amendments.

KGA

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