Photo Release

December 1, 2021

Senate passes 2022 national budget: Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Sonny Angara presents the proposed P5 trillion national budget for 2022 during the hybrid plenary session Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Angara said the health sector will receive a significant portion of the national budget in light of a new variant threat of the coronavirus disease, the Omicron, which is believed to be more virulent and contagious than the Delta variant. He said the Senate had proposed a budget of over P226.7 billion for the Department of Health which was much higher than the P182.67 billion appropriated under the General Appropriations Bill passed by the House of Representatives. Angara said some of the increases in the budget were related to the pandemic response namely, the COVID-19 benefits and compensation for healthcare workers, COVID-19 human resource for health emergency hiring, COVID-19 laboratory network commodities, DOH’s epidemiology and surveillance program, operations for national reference laboratories like the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), hiring and training of contact tracers, purchase of drugs and vaccines, as well as an increase in the budget operations of DOH hospitals nationwide. Angara said sizable funding was provided to SUCs with schools of medicines, and the budgets of the Department of Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) were likewise increased as they prepare to expand face to face classes next year. Angara said budgets for some programs of the Departments of Social Welfare and Development and the Labor and Employment, Agriculture, Trade and Industry were also increased to meet the demands next year. Angara also informed his colleagues that the budget for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has been increased from P4 billion to P10 billion. House Bill No. 10153, or an Act appropriating funds for the operation of the Philippine government for 2022 was unanimously approved by 22 senators on third and final reading. (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)