THE House of Representatives starts today (September 21) the plenary deliberations on the P5.024-trillion national budget for 2022, with the target approval by end of the month.

House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Eric Go Yap said he will now ask the Office of the President to issue an urgent certification to expedite the approval of the 2022 budget.

With this certification, the Congress dispenses with the three-day rule for the passage of a measure.

“We will start the plenary deliberations on September 21. There are no amendments [to the budget proposal] at the committee level,” he said.

“After the committee report [reaches the plenary] I will make a formal request to the Office of the President so the budget bill can be certified as urgent so we can approve it on third reading by September 30,” Yap said.

Yap, along with House Committee on Appropriations senior vice chairmen Joey Sarte Salceda and Teodorico Haresco Jr. will sponsor the budget bill at the plenary.

The Congress will go on a break from October 1 to November 7 as candidates for all national and local positions are expected to file their certificates of candidacy.

With the theme, “Sustaining the Legacy of Real Change for Future Generations,” the P5.024- trillion NEP for 2022 is equivalent to 22.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and is higher by 11.5 percent than the 2021
national budget.

For 2022, the government expects to generate P3.290 trillion in total revenues, representing 14.9 percent of the GDP.

Also, deficit as a share of GDP will reach 7.5 percent next year, lower than the 9.3 percent of GDP program this year.

Covid, growth, infra

In a statement, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the NEP was carefully crafted to provide the necessary funding requirements to support the country’s resilience amid the Covid-19 pandemic, to sustain the trajectory of economic growth, and to continue the legacy of infrastructure development.

The DBM said bulk of the budget —P1.456 trillion or 29.0 percent of the FY 2022 NEP—will go to Personnel Services expenditures to cover the hiring of healthcare workers and teaching personnel, the implementation of the third tranche of the Salary Standardization Law V, and the requirements of the 2018 Military and Uniformed Personnel pension arrears, among others.

Capital Outlays are pegged at P939.8 billion while Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures will reach P777.9 billion next year, it said.

The agency added that debt burden amounts to P541.3 billion, and corners 10.8 percent of the 2022 NEP and is lower by 3.4 percent year-on-year.

It said the support to Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations, composed of national government subsidies and equity, sums up to P178.0 billion while tax expenditures remain the same as this year’s level at P14.5 billion.

The DBM said the allocation to local government units (LGUs) will amount to P1.116 trillion. This includes the P959-billion National Tax Allotment share of LGUs, consistent with the Supreme Court ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia case.

The DBM said the education sector covering the Department of Education (DepEd), State Universities and Colleges and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), shall receive the highest allocation with P773.6 billion, higher by P21.9 billion or 2.9 percent compared to its share from the 2021 budget.

This is followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with P686.1 billion, Department of the Interior and Local Government with P250.4 billion, Department of Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation with P242.0 billion, Department of National Defense with P222.0 billion, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with P191.4 billion, Department of Transportation (DOTr) with P151.3 billion, Department of Agriculture (DA) and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) with P103.5 billion, The Judiciary with P45.0 billion, and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with P44.9 billion.

In total, the budget of the top 1-departments amounts to P2.71 trillion and comprises 53.9 percent of the FY 2022 NEP.

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