MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte has certified as urgent the proposed bill containing the 2022 national budget to avoid delays in public service amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, Malacañang said on Thursday.
This, after Duterte’s letter calling for the immediate enactment of House Bill 10152 or the General Appropriations Bill was read during the House’s plenary session on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said with Duterte’s certification, the House will be able to pass its version on second and third reading on the same day.
“Well ang certification naman po will have the effect of doing away with the hiwalay na (a separate) second and third reading,” Roque said.
Roque said Duterte intends to “give priority” and “to expedite the passage of the budget law” which is expected to sustain the country’s Covid-19 response efforts.
“Hindi po pupuwede maantala yung mga serbisyong ibibigay natin sa taumbayan sa panahon po ng pandemya (We cannot allow a delay in public service in the time of a pandemic),” he added.
In the letter read during the House plenary session on Sept. 29 , Duterte said the spending measure must be immediately enacted to “address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year, to expedite the funding of various programs, projects, and activities for FY 2022, and to ensure budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its constitutional mandate.”
“I hereby certify to the immediate enactment of House Bill No. 10153 entitled An Act Appropriating Funds for the Operation of the Government of the Philippines from January 1 to December 31, 2022,” Duterte’s letter read.
House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said the House aims to pass its version of the 2022 national budget by September 30, or before Congress suspends session on October 17 to November 15 for the filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 2022 elections.
Velasco said the overall objective is for Duterte to sign the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) by December to prevent a reenacted budget that could slow economic growth and hamper the delivery of government services.
Currently, Congress is still deliberating on the proposed PHP5.024 national budget for 2022.
Next year’s budget is 11.5 percent higher than this year’s PHP4.506 trillion.
The social services sector, including health-related services and education-related programs, will receive the largest share of PHP1.92 trillion, or 38.3 percent of the total 2022 budget.
Meanwhile, the economic services sector will receive the second-highest allocation at 29.3 percent or PHP1.474 trillion for the implementation of flagship projects under the administration’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program. (PNA)
Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph