Duterte OKs P5.024-trillion election year budget


PRESIDENT Duterte has approved the proposed P5.024-trillion 2022 national budget.

Budget Undersecretary and Officer-In-Charge Tina Canda said the Office of the President (OP) approved the proposed national budget before Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado went on medical leave.

“Yes. The OP approved it and the budget is now being printed,” Canda said in a message to the BusinessMirror.

Canda also said they are still hoping to submit the 2022 National Expenditure Program (NEP) to Congress on August 23, ahead of their August 25 deadline.

Under the Constitution, the Executive branch has 30 days from the opening of the regular session of Congress to make the submission to lawmakers.

The proposed national budget for 2022 is higher by 11.5 percent than the proposed national budget last year at P4.506 trillion.

Among the Covid-19 response efforts that will be sustained through the 2022 budget are the procurement of Covid-19 testing kits, continuous hiring of human resources for health, the establishment of the Virology Institute of the Philippines, and the continuous implementation of health programs in line with the Universal Health Care Act. In addition, funds for the procurement of the Covid-19 booster shots will also be allocated under the Unprogrammed Appropriations.

Avisado is on medical leave from August 2 to 13 following his recent bout with Covid-19 for which he was hospitalized for eight days and quarantined for over a month. The budget chief also followed his doctor’s advice to undertake a series of examinations, as it has been 14 years since he underwent a quadruple open heart bypass.

Despite Avisado going on medical leave, the budget department earlier assured the public that it will submit the 2022 NEP on or before the 30-day constitutional deadline.

Image courtesy of Roy Domingo

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