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Bicam OKs proposed 2021 national budget

THE bicameral conference committee of both Houses of Congress has approved the final version of the proposed 2021 national budget.

Senator Sonny Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, assured that the budget they approved is focused on the programs on pandemic response and recovery efforts.

Angara said the Senate and House contingents to the bicam focused on responding to the pandemic and calamities, especially following the recent series of typhoons that ravaged the country.

Based on the approved bicam committee version, the biggest allocation amounting to P708,181,173,000 was for the Education agencies (Department of Education, State Universities and Colleges, Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority).

Among the Top Ten recipients are the Department of Public Works and Highways, P694.88 billion; Health agencies, P287.47 billion; Department of the Interior and Local Government, P247.50 billion; Department of National Defense, P205.47 billion;

Department of Social Welfare and Development, P176.66 billion; Department of Transportation, P87.45 billion; Department of Agriculture, P68.62 billion; Judiciary, P44.11 billion; and Department of Labor and Employment, P36.61 billion.

With the bicam approving the national budget, the Senate and the House are now expected to ratify it this Wednesday afternoon so it can be submitted to the office of President Rodrigo Duterte for signature.

The Senate earlier said the target was to transmit the 2021 budget bill to Malacañang for the President’s signature by December 18 or December 21, at the latest.