Senate receives ₱5-trillion proposed 2022 nat'l budget

Published August 23, 2021, 1:52 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Senate received on Monday, August 23, the last spending plan of the Duterte administration.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III received from Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Janet Abuel copies of the 2022 National Expenditure Program (NEP).

Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III (left) receives from Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Janet Abuel (right) on August 23, 2021 a copy of the 2022 National Expenditure Program. (Office of Senate President Sotto)

The same documents have also been submitted to the House of Representatives.

Under the Constitution, the executive department is mandated to submit the NEP to Congress within 30 days from the opening of the regular session. The submission will allow lawmakers to take up and look into the proposed appropriations for each government agency.

The 2022 NEP calls for a total appropriation of P5.024 trillion for government operations and projects, including a P240-billion allocation for COVID-18 response for next year, as disclosed by Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

Roque earlier said that of the amount, P1.92 will go to social services, which lists health-related services, among others.

The economic services sector, meanwhile, will get P1.47 trillion. The amount includes allocation for the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

In terms of proposed funds for government agencies, the Department of Education, state universities and colleges and the Commission on HIgher Education would supposedly get the biggest allocation, with a combined budget of P773.6 billion.

The Department of Public Works and Highways follows at P686.1 billion. Meanwhile, the Department of Health was proposed to get P242 billion.

Senators have vowed to scrutinize the proposed allocations under the NEP, following audit reports of underspending, questionable procurements and deficiencies of government agencies in handling public funds.