The 2022 P5.024-trillion national budget will be critical in implementing the government’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response, and in ensuring the country’s economic recovery.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, issued this statement after commending President Duterte for the timely signing of the budget, saying: “The signing is timely as we continue to deal with the pandemic and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette on our people and economy.”

In his speech, Duterte expressed his gratitude to Congress for expediting the ratification of the national budget. He went on to note that the passage of the 2022 budget demonstrated the ‘healthy collaboration’ among all branches of the government, which is crucial in achieving national development goals, especially in these hard times.

The President also stated that the 2022 budget would be critical in maintaining the recovery momentum and sustaining the legacy of infrastructure development.

Go thanked his colleagues in the legislative branch and President Duterte for the enactment of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) into law

The senator from Davao also urged government agencies to ensure the proper use of the funds.

“Dapat walang masayang ni piso sa kaban ng bayan (There should be no wastage in the use of government funds.) Tiyakin nating magiging kasangkapan ang pondo ng gobyerno upang mapadali ang pagbangon ng ating bansa sa pagpasok ng Bagong Taon (We should ensure that the government funds would be used to accelerate our recovery this New Year),” he added.

Go then expressed his confidence that the budget was carefully considered in order to meet the demands of the Filipino people, particularly in these difficult times, and to enable the government to provide a comfortable life for all.

According to Go, the government continues to implement all necessary measures to save and protect lives. Also already included in the 2022 budget is an increased funding for COVID-19 response.

Go successfully advocated budgetary support for the continuous implementation of the Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration strategy, the emergency hiring of COVID-19 Human Resources for Health, and hiring and training of contact tracers.

We also ensured there would be sufficient funding for the following activities and programs: COVID-19 benefits and compensation for our healthcare workers who are at the forefront of our battle against COVID-19; COVID-19 Laboratory Network Commodities to further enhance our testing capacity; and Epidemiology and Surveillance program to strengthen our disease surveillance,” Go explained.

“We also increased the budget of our National Reference Laboratories, such as RITM, to capacitate them to do genome sequencing in light of the new emerging variants, and support for the operations of DOH hospitals across the country,” he added.

To further beef up protection against the virus, the government also ensured funding for COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots.

He, however, emphasized the need for continued cooperation from the public in order to fully recover from the pandemic.

Source: Manila Bulletin (