Duterte declares brighter days await PH, urges Congress to pass P4.506-T 2021 nat’l budget

Published August 28, 2020, 11:17 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

“Brighter days” await the country beyond the bleak times brought by the “virulent” onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, President Duterte said in a recent budget message to Congress.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

The President recognized the destruction and hardship caused by the pandemic in the past few months but voiced optimism the resilient nation will “heal, recover, and win” against the health crisis.

Duterte talked about hope despite the pandemic gloom while asking Congress to swiftly pass the proposed P4.506 trillion national budget for 2021. The budget proposal, submitted by the Department of Budget and Management to Congress Tuesday, aims to sustain and strengthen government efforts in effectively responding to and recovering from the pandemic.

“Despite the turbulence of a world health crisis, I stand steady, with the same confidence and certainty — but now of one who believes that beyond these bleak times are brighter days,” the President said.

“Indeed we have gone through a lot of these past months. but let me say this. We will prevail. Our people, gifted with faith, resilience, and creativity, will overcome this crisis. We will heal, and we will recover, and we will win,” he said.

Duterte admitted that the magnitude of the health crisis shook the nation, as the pandemic left a trail of destruction in terms of lives and livelihood.  He said the country has so far been able to withstand the onslaught of the coronavirus but efforts must be sustained to address the impact of the pandemic and accelerate economic recovery.

The President said the proposed 2021 national budget would help provide support for the government’s “program of resurgence.” He said the people expects the country’s leaders especially the lawmakers “to get us back on track.”

“With your review and speedy approval of our proposed National Budget of P4.506 trillion for Fiscal Year 2021, we will get back on our journey, on the road again — moving forward, getting our ‘normal’ back, reclaiming our future,” Duterte said.

The coronavirus pandemic has so far infected more than 200,000 people in the country even as the government moved to step up testing, tracing, and treatment efforts.

The country has fallen into recession after the economy shrank by 16.5 percent in the second quarter of the year. The worse than expected economic downturn was recorded following the strict coronavirus lockdown the affected businesses and left millions jobless.