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Duterte hailed for signing anti-pandemic 2021 budget

THE House of Representatives, led by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, hailed President Rodrigo Duterte for signing the 2021 national budget amounting to P4.506 trillion.

Velasco described the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) as an “all-important measure that will enable the government to respond to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The House leader said the 2021 national budget intends to address the problems brought about by the pandemic that has severely damaged the economy and disrupted the lives of millions of Filipinos across the country.

“The P4.506-trillion national budget approved by Congress is the biggest by far and will better position the Philippines to beat the public health crisis and rise from its devastating effects,” Velasco said in a statement.

“This is also a reflection of our government’s serious commitment and strong resolve to defeat the virus and bring the economy back on track,” he added.

Among the important features of the pandemic-responsive budget is the allocation of P72.5 billion for the purchase, storage, transportation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Another P2 billion has been earmarked for the purchase of personal protective equipment or PPE to ensure that health workers are safe as they carry out their duty of saving every patient from the virus.

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The signing into law of the 2021 national budget before the year end will prevent a reenacted budget.

Velasco also expressed his gratitude to his colleagues in the House and their Senate counterparts for their “hard work and for putting together this milestone legislation in a timely manner.”

For his part, Chairman of the House committee on appropriations Rep. Eric Go Yap, thanked President Duterte for signing the historic General Appropriations Act for 2021 which is a result of months of hard work and tireless efforts both of the Executive and the Legislative branches of government.

Included in the budget is a spending package that will not only address the perennial pursuit of better lives for the Filipinos, but more importantly, to immediately respond to the needs of the Filipinos and give the government a boost in finally ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mahal na Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte na hindi hinayaang matapos ang taon na hindi napipirmahan ang General Appropriations Act. We will not operate on a reenacted budget next year and that is a sign that the President is not compromising the country’s response and recovery efforts to the pandemic,” Yap said.

Yap said he is grateful for the guidance of both Speaker Velasco and former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano as the budget process finished smoothly and on time despite the Speakership issues.

“I am working with very professional colleagues in Congress. I would like to specifically give credit to two very important people: Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco. They were both very professional and competent and they had very specific instructions for me to focus on this measure and I could not thank them enough,” the ACT-CIS Representative said.

Publication Source :    People's Journal