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Bigger outlays for social services welcomed

DEPUTY Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadetted Herrera welcomed the bigger allocations for social service programs of the government under the 2021 national budget.

Herrera said both Houses of Congress agreed to increase the budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) by P3.669 billion, bringing its total budget to P176.66 billion under the 2021 General Appropriations Bill.

The 2021 national budget is pegged at P4.5 trillion.

“This is a testament to the Duterte administration’s strong commitment to empower and uplift the lives of the poor, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged, amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” Herrera said.

Herrera was part of the 21-member contingent to the bicameral conference committee, which was tasked by the House led by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco to reconcile with the Senate the disagreeing provisions of House Bill 7727, or the proposed General Appropriations Act of 2021.

Under the reconciled version, the Office of the Secretary of the DSWD got a net increase of P9.535 billion for protective services for individuals and families in difficult circumstances.

The bicameral conference committee also increased the DSWD’s budget for general management supervision by P500 million, social pension for indigent senior by P271.154 million, Supplementary Feeding Program by P130 million, Sustainable Livelihood Program by P10 million, services for residential and center-based clients by P78.652 million, and disaster response and rehabilitation program by P40 million.

Herrera said the following agencies under the social services sector also received a budget boost:

Council for the Welfare of Children—additional maintenance and other operating expenses of P10 million under its general administration and support; Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council—additional P20 million for financial assistance/subsidy to local government units for the construction or improvement of Bahay Pag-asa; National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)—P10 million for the formulation of the National Poverty Reduction Plan; National Council on Disability Affairs—P54 billion for facilities for persons with disabilities.

Publication Source :    People's Journal