Duterte approves proposed ₱4.5-T national budget for 2021

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 2)— President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the proposed ₱4.506 trillion national budget for 2021, the Budget Department confirmed Sunday.

The proposal was agreed upon during Duterte’s special meeting with the Development Budget Coordination Committee last week, the agency said in a statement.

The proposed 2021 budget— higher than this year’s allocated ₱4.1-trillion— will focus on projects that will strengthen the country’s response against the COVID-19 pandemic, DBM said.

These include policies and programs that will: improve the healthcare system, ensure food security, increase investments in public and digital infrastructure, and help communities and affected sectors cope with the pandemic.

“In view of the President’s approval of the PhP4.506 trillion FY 2021 proposed budget, the DBM will be finalizing the FY 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP) and other budget documents for submission to Congress before the 30-day Constitutional deadline,” DBM said, adding the proposed budget went through “numerous hearings and consultations” with experts and agencies prior to approval.

Earlier this year, Duterte, under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, was given special powers to reallocate portions of the 2020 funds for COVID-19 response. The second Bayanihan bill, which establishes a ₱140-billion standby fund for socioeconomic and health programs, was approved by the Senate on final reading last week.