Duterte signs ₱4.506T 2021 General Appropriations Act

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signs the P4.506 trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2021 on Monday, December 28 (Photo courtesy of House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco Office/ via Daniel Manalastas)

CALOOCAN CITY, Dec. 29 (PIA) -- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday signed into law the Philippines' P4.506 trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2021 or the national budget for next year.

The national budget themed “Reset, Rebound, and Recover: Investing for Resiliency and Sustainability” will aid the country to start anew through responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, to “rebound by boosting infrastructure development and by generating job opportunities, and rebuild by assisting communities adapt to the post-pandemic life.”

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the social services sector has been allocated the “largest bulk” or 37 percent of the budget with P1,668.0 billion, followed by the economic services sector with 29.4 percent or P1,323.1 billion. The general public services sector was allocated 16.6 percent amounting to P747.8 billion, while the Debt Burden was given 12.4 percent or P560.2 billion, and the defense sector with 4.6 percent allocation or P206.8 billion.

According to the DBM, the top 10 agencies with the highest allocation are:
• Education sector – P751.7 billion (16.7 percent)
• Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – P695.7 billion (15.4 percent)
• Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – P249.3 billion (5.5 percent) • Department of Health (DOH) – P210.2 billion (19.6 percent)
• Department of National Defense (DND) – P205.8 billion
• Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – P176.9 billion
• Department of Transportation (DOTr) – P87.9 billion
• Department of Agriculture (DA) – P71.0 billion
• Judiciary – P45.3 billion
• Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – P37.1 billion.

The DBM said the budget “prioritize(s) health-related COVID-19 response programs to address the continuing threat of the pandemic,” through allocating a budgetary support of P71.4 billion to the National Health Insurance Program, P16.6 billion for the Human Resources for Health Program, P4.7 billion for PPEs, and an additional P1 billion for GeneExpert cartridges.

Around P7.8 billion were also allotted for the repair and construction of health facilities and equipment and some P283 million for the establishment of Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines.

“Some P2.5 billion is allocated under the DOH budget and a further P70 billion is provided under the FY 2021 Unprogrammed Appropriations for COVID-19 vaccine procurement and logistics,” it added.

Duterte is expecting that the budget will continue the Build, Build, Build program, boost the industry and service sector, and to support social services. He also emphasized the allocation of P72.5 billion for the vaccination program.

“This administration will ensure efficient use of resources to sound fiscal policy that will enable us to overcome the debilitating effects of the pandemic…This coming year, we intend to recover as one,” he assured. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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