Malacanang has submitted the P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 to the House of Representatives, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said. This will set into motion lengthy hearings to ensure funding for the government's COVID-19 response and other programs.
To fight the pandemic, the 2021 General Appropriations Act seeks funding for the construction of more health facilities and laboratories and the purchase of hospital equipment, according to a Department of Budget and Management primer.
It also seeks to bankroll the full imlementation of the Universal Healthcare Act and enough cover for indigent PhilHealth members.
The budget will prioritze "shovel-ready" projects under President Rodrigo Duterte's "Build, Build, Build" program as well as road projects. Towards the new normal, it seeks to accelerate the National ID and IT infrastructure development.
After the House hearings, the budget needs to be approved and sent to the Senate. Only when both chambers agree on the bill can it be submitted to Duterte for him to sign into law.