Mon. Apr 12th, 2021
(Photo courtesy: http://www.news.abs-cbn.com)

The Bicameral Conference Committee on Wednesday approved the 2021 General Appropriations Bill that contains the P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 which assures at least P72 billion in funds for the purchase of a vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sonny Angara and House Appropriations Chairman Eric Go-Yap said they were eyeing the ratification of the 2021 GAB this Wednesday afternoon. Also, House of Representatives appropriations committee vice chair, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, said they want to avoid the late approval of the 2021 budget.

“The ball will be in the President’s (Rodrigo Duterte) court early, so there is almost no risk that we will face a delayed budget enactment this year. That can only mean well for 2021 economic recovery,” Salceda said.

He noted that the early passage of the 2021 General Appropriations Act, along with the expected adoption of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, would be strong foundations for the country’s economic “bounceback.”

“With these reforms done, we can focus on economic relief and the vaccine rollout,” Salceda said.

Apart from the P1.1 trillion-allocation for infrastructure, he said, the 2021 budget also includes P7.6 billion in additional spending for adapting to the post-Covid life, including items on telecommunications enhancements.

Salceda said the budget also includes P203 billion for health care.

The top 10 allocations in the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget are: Education sector including the higher education with P708 billion; Public Works with P694 billion; Health including the PhilHealth and vaccines P287 billion, Interior and Local Government with P24 billion; National Defense with P205 billion; Social Welfare and Development with P176 billion; Transportation with P87 billion; Agriculture with P68 billion; Judiciary with P44 billion; and Labor and Employment with P36 billion. SOVEREIGNPH

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