May 25, 2024

The House of Representatives has allocated P20 billion for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines and booster shots, as well as P4.5B for the special risk allowance of public and private health care workers.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Eric Yap said these are among the amendments introduced by the small committee to House Bill 10153 or the proposed P5.024 trillion budget for 2022, which would be “crucial for our full recovery from the pandemic as a nation”.

“After careful consideration and consultations, we have finalized the amendments for House Bill 10153. As illustrated, we have appropriated additional budget to the following agencies to further enable them to swiftly, efficiently, and effectively address the needs of the Filipino people,” Yap said.

Aside from lodging more funding for additional vaccines and allowances for health care workers, the House also earmarked P5B for the Medical Assistance to Indigent Patients of the Department of Health.

Yap said the House is committed to provide the enabling mechanisms for responsive and dynamic governance and to strengthen the capabilities of the government in addressing the effects of the pandemic.

Next year’s budget is 11.5 percent higher than this year’s P4.506T.

The departments with the biggest allocations are the Department of Education with P773.6B; Department of Public Works and Highways, P686.1B; Department of the Interior and Local Government, P250.4B; Department of Health, P242B; Department of National Defense, P222B; and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, P191.4B.

About 38.3 percent or P1.922T of the budget will go to social services; 29.3 percent or P1.474T to economic services; 17.2 percent or P862.7B to general public services; 10.8 percent or P541.3B to debt burden (including net lending); and 4.5 percent or P224.4B to defense.

The House approved the spending measure on final reading on Sept. 30 with 238 affirmative votes, six negative votes, and no abstention. – PNA