By Ella Luci | Published: October 17, 2020
Although passed by the House of Representatives on second reading, the 2021 Budget hearings has just officially started with both Houses in Congress deliberating on it.
According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the government needs a
P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021.
Health, Food Security
Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the proposed budget is 9.9 percent higher than the 2020 budget and is 21.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
When Avisado submitted the proposal in August to then House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, it focused on government spending improving the country’s healthcare system, ensuring food security, creating more jobs by investing in labor-intensive projects, enabling a digital government and economy, and helping communities cope.
Avisado said the theme for this year’s budget was “Reset, Rebound, and Recover: Investing for Resiliency and Sustainability.”
Accelerating Economic Recovery
“The imposition of community quarantine has had a significant impact on the economic and social activities in our country while our healthcare sector continues to struggle against the pressure of the pandemic,” Avisado said when he submitted the proposed national budget to Cayetano.
“We, in government, must be able to effectively respond and with the fiscal year 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP), we hope to fully address the impact of the health crisis and accelerate our economic recovery,” Avisado said.
According to DBM, government offices in the education sector got the highest allocation at P754.4 billion which is higher than the P650.2 billion allocation for 2020.
That budget covers expenditures for the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the state universities and colleges across the country.
Next big chunks goes to the Department of Public Works and Highways at P667.3 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government, P246.1 billion; Department of National Defense, P209.1 billion, and Department of Health, P203.1 billion.
Also included in the 10 departments with the highest allocation are the Department of Social Welfare and Development with P171.2 billion; Department of Transportation, P143.6 billion; Department of Agriculture, P66.4 billion; the Judiciary, P43.5 billion, and Department of Labor and Employment, P27.5 billion.
Among the notable agencies outside the Top 10 is the Department of Trade and Industry which is proposed with a P20.162 billion budget.