Press Release
December 30, 2021

Bong Go lauds PRRD for the timely signing of 2022 budget; urges gov't to utilize funds properly to ensure country's recovery

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go commended President Rodrigo Duterte for the timely signing of the 2022 General Appropriations Act, guaranteeing that the government has a functional budget for the recovery and reconstruction of areas devastated by Typhoon Odette and the continuation of the government's pandemic response towards full recovery.

"I applaud the President for approving the national budget for 2022 today. I also want to express my gratitude to my colleagues in both houses of Congress," said Go.

"The signing is timely as we continue to deal with the pandemic and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette on our people and economy," Go added.

The senator remarked that the budget was carefully considered in order to meet the demands of the Filipino people, particularly in these difficult times, and to enable the government to provide a comfortable life for all.

"Tiwala ako na ang budget na ito ay napapanahon at angkop upang tuluyan nating malagpasan ang krisis na ating kasalukuyang kinakaharap," said Go.

"Maipagpapatuloy din natin ang mga programa at proyekto ng Administrasyong Duterte upang tuluyang maisakatuparan ang pangakong mas maginhawang buhay para sa lahat ng mga Pilipino," he added.

The GAA 2022 set an increased budget for the Department of Health to boost its pandemic efforts and other health programs. The Senate Committee on Finance adopted the recommendations of Senator Go to allocate funding for programs and activities which are crucial to the country's pandemic response such as the Health Facilities Enhancement Program; compensation and other benefits of COVID-19 Workers; COVID-19 Laboratory Network Commodities; and the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

The Department of Education, State Universities and Colleges, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of Justice, and the Department of Labor and Employment also received budget increases.

There are also increases on the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The Supreme Court and the lower courts also received augmented budgets.

To ensure food availability and to help increase the income of farmers and fisherfolk, the GAA directs the government to directly purchase available agricultural and fisheries products from local farmers, fisherfolk, or their associations or cooperatives to be utilized in their feeding programs, relief operations, rice subsidy, and other programs.

In aid of economic recovery, the government will also give preference to materials and supplies made and manufactured in the Philippines in the procurement of goods and infrastructure projects.

Meanwhile, to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices, the Special Provision on fuel subsidy to farmers, fisherfolk, and public utility vehicle, taxi, tricycle, and full- time ride-hailing and delivery services drivers was introduced.

The senator then urged government agencies to ensure the proper use of the funds, saying, "Ang panawagan ko naman sa mga ahensyang magpapatupad nito, siguraduhin nating nagagamit ng maayos ang pondo ng taumbayan."

"Dapat walang masayang ni piso sa kaban ng bayan at dapat maramdaman ng mga mamamayan natin ang mga programa, proyekto at serbisyo ng gobyerno," he added.

Go once again reassured the public that the President and the rest of the government are working round the clock to meet the needs of typhoon victims and those hardest hit by the pandemic.

"Importante rito mga kababayan natin, makatulong kaagad, makabalik sila kahit papano sa kanilang pamumuhay, na makabalik sila sa bahay nila na wala pong gutom," Go said.

"Unahin ko muna 'yung pagseserbisyo sa aking kapwa Pilipino gaya ng ginagawa ko noon- 24/7 po akong handang tumugon at tumulong sa mga pangangailangan po ng ating mga kababayan," he added.

In his speech, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to the legislative branch. He went on to note that the passage of the 2022 budget demonstrates the 'healthy collaboration' among branches of the government.

"As we mark the signing of the 2022 budget and other laws, let us all emulate Rizal's heroism and courage by serving the country with dedication and accountability by doing what is right and just for our people," Duterte added.

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