A proposed P4.506 trillion national budget for next year has just gotten the approval of President Duterte.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the agency confirmed that this proposed 2021 budget is 9.9 percent bigger than this year's. In addition, it represents 21.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, or GDP.
Where will this sizable increase go?
“[T]he proposed FY 2021 budget aims to sustain government efforts towards effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the agency.
It said that the budget will focus government spending on improving the healthcare system, guaranteeing food security, investing in infrastructure (both public and digital), as well as “helping communities cope and prevail in these trying times.”
Budget allocations of previous years earlier emphasized education and infrastructure. Needless to say, the ongoing pandemic has forced this current financial plan to reassess its priorities.
Assured the agency: “Every peso of the proposed PhP4.506 trillion FY 2021 Budget went through numerous budget hearings and consultations with the agencies, and levels of scrutiny and approval.”
With the president’s approval, the proposed budget will now be up for Congress’s review. The DBM has 30 days to prepare all necessary documents to forward to the House of Representatives.
A Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, passed by the Senate last week, will also set aside P140 billion as a "standby fund" to aid economic recovery and augment efforts to combat the deadly disease.