Increase in DOST's 2022 budget gets bipartisan backing

Published September 1, 2021, 5:37 PM

by Noreen Jazul

Solons backed the budget increase for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the year 2022.

During the Committee on Appropriations hearing on Wednesday (Sept.1), the DOST bared that its proposed budget is P24.338 billion, which is three percent lower than its 2021 budget of P25.188 billion.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña (HoR)

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña told the committee that the reduction in the budget is mostly on the capital outlay which has an allocation of P1.085 billion or 4 percent of the total budget.

Meanwhile, P18.716 billion (77%) will be allotted for the agency’s maintenance and operation expenses, and P4.536 billion (19%) will go to its personal services.

DOST said its original proposed budget to the DBM was P41.227 billion, but it was cut to P24.338 billion.

The cut from the proposed budget was too big, according to ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro, who early in the hearing also urged the committee to help DOST increase its budget.

Castro added that the agency has accomplished a lot in the past years which was reflected in DOST’s report to the committee during the budget briefing.

Castro’s call was echoed by Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago and Ilocos Sur First District Representative Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano.

Elago said she is “hopeful and optimistic” that the DOST’s budget will be increased for the year 2022.

Savellano, for his part, asked the committee to help DOST in its bid to increase its budget.

“Ang dami nilang pangangailagan (They have a lot of needs). We need to support them,” Savellano said.