The House of Representatives, which is dominated by allies of President Duterte, has passed without much ado the P5.024-trillion national government budget for 2022.
Records show this is the biggest appropriations measure ever in the nation’s history.
The budget bill (or House Bill No. 10153) was approved last week by the lower chamber after it was certified as urgent by President Duterte. It will now be forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.
The bill was overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 238-6, without any abstentions.
The Education department will get the biggest slice of the pie, with P773 billion. Second is the DPWH, PP686.1 billion; Interior department, P250.4 billion; and Health department, P242 billion.
House members had rushed the passage of the bill ahead of the Comelec’s deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 2022 polls from Oct. 1 to 8, 2021.
Approval of the huge budget outlay assumed significance in light of the disclosure by the Bureau of Treasury that the Philippines has accumulated a record P11.64 trillion debt.
The national debt portfolio ballooned over the past 12 months by some P2 trillion due to exigencies occasioned by the pandemic.
Photo: Daily Tribune