Sun. May 9th, 2021

The 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget is ready for signing by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Both chambers of Congress ratified the GAB, even as Senator Panfilo Lacson dissented on it before it was finally ratified by the Senate at past 8 p.m. on Wednesday. The House ratified the GAB in the late afternoon also on Wednesday.

After the GAB was ratified, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said: “When we keep our commitments to our fellow Filipinos and continue to put their interests first, we will surely overcome the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic.”

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.

Next year’s budget was also crafted to help the Philippine economy recover from the adverse effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Duterte pressed the House and Senate to pass the 2021 budget on time so the government won’t operate with a re-enacted budget, which would hamper the programs and projects to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. SOVEREIGNPH

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