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The P5.024-T national budget for 2022 is signed by Duterte.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the PHP5.024 trillion national budget for 2022 into law on Thursday, which will be utilized to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and recover from Typhoon Odette.

He signed the national budget for 2022 in a ceremony attended by members of the House of Representatives and Senate in Rizal Hall in Malacanang Palace.

The national budget for next year, PHP5.024 trillion, is 11.5 percent higher than this year’s PHP4.5 trillion.

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), PHP6 billion of the PHP10 billion allocated by Duterte for the recovery of typhoon-devastated districts in Visayas and Mindanao will come from the national budget in 2022.

The ratification of the 2022 national budget, Duterte stated in his speech, reinforces the government’s strong commitment to ensuring “a more comfortable and productive life for each Filipino.”

“Building resiliency despite the epidemic, maintaining the momentum toward recovery, and extending the legacy of infrastructure development will help cement this administration’s legacy of meaningful change for future generations,” he said.

Because the signing of the budget for next year falls on Rizal Day, Duterte urged Filipinos to emulate his heroism and courage by “serving the country with dedication, integrity, responsibility, and by doing what is right and just” for the people.

“There is no better way to serve the Filipino people than to provide them with an honest, efficient, and responsive government,” he continued.

He also thanked members of Congress for ensuring that the budget bill was ratified on schedule, as well as government agencies, civil society partners, and other civil workers who contributed to the bill’s development.

“In fact, the passage of the General Appropriations Act of 2022 illustrates the robust collaboration among all arms of government that is critical to achieving our National Development Goals, particularly in these hard times,” he stated.

Duterte also signed RA 11641, dubbed “An Act Creating the Department of Migrant Workers,” as part of the same scheme.

It was also revealed that Duterte had previously signed RA 11640, titled “An Act Extending the Availability of the 2021 Appropriations to December 31, 2022, Amending for the Purpose Section 62 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 11518, the General Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2021, Amending for the Purpose Section 62 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 11518, the General Appropriations Act of Fiscal

Omicron is concerned.

Meanwhile, Duterte expressed alarm about the “imminent” threat posed by the Covid-19 Omicron variety, which is thought to be more transmissible than other strains.

“It’s a little concerning, but takot ako nitong Omicron because pumuputok na sa lahat ng bayan sa buong mundo,” he said.

Should Covid-19 cases reach dangerous proportions, he anticipated that next year’s budget might be drained once more.

“I’m leaving the office in a few months, and natatakot lang ako yung (I’m just frightened of our) answer and how it will affect the budget,” he continued.

Duterte also urged Congress to pass legislation to help the country deal with the current health crisis.

“I hope Congress, both the lower and upper chambers, would…eventually Congress would…you have to pass the laws necessary to deal with this new crisis lurking on the horizon,” he remarked.

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