Press Releases

STATEMENT OF REP. JOEY SARTE SALCEDA ON THE ENACTMENT OF THE 2022 GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT

December 30th, 2021

I laud President Duterte for signing the 2022 General Appropriations Act in time for the new year. The House’s prompt passage of the budget and the President’s urgent action on our approved bill signifies our commitment to a speedy post-pandemic recovery and our return to a high-growth economy.

I also acknowledge the work done by my colleagues and our counterparts in the Senate for ensuring that there remains adequate funds to complete the fight against COVID-19.

We also fought for the inclusion of what has turned out to be P50 billion for the special risk allowance for medical frontliners. There is also almost P48 billion for COVID-19 booster shots, which I believe we may reconsider reallocating towards COVID-19 therapeutics when the circumstances call for it next year.

Another P4 billion will be directly available for Odette victims, although as I have noted, there is also an existing P6.5 billion in NDRRM Fund from the 2020 and 2021 budgets that could be mobilized on top of other funds. The 2021 portion of that budget will be available until the end of 2022, thanks to another measure signed by President Duterte today.

I am optimistic that we will expedite the implementation of our public works program, also funded by this budget. I join the appeal that the Commission on Elections issue special exemptions on the ban from election spending, specifically for infrastructure. A frontloaded infrastructure program, similar to what we did in 2008 in anticipation of the Global Financial Crisis, will help boost economic recovery.

Moving forward, I assure the Filipino people that Congress will continue to exercise its oversight powers to ensure that the budget is spent well and wisely. The House Committee on Ways and Means will also continue its efforts to strengthen tax administration and enforcement, so that we could narrow the deficit and keep the government’s cash position strong. (end)

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