Senate OKs ₱5.024-T 2022 national budget on final reading

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 1) — The Senate approved on final reading on Wednesday the proposed ₱5.024-trillion national budget for next year.

Twenty-two senators passed the 2022 General Appropriations Bill. There were no negative votes.

Sen. Sonny Angara, who leads the finance committee, said the Department of Health will receive ₱230 billion, higher than the ₱182 billion approved by the House of Representatives, amid the threat of the Omicron variant.

"The situation is still developing, but needless to say, we have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario," Angara said. "This is why our health sector will continue to receive a significant portion of the budget."

Lawmakers will sit down in conference committee to come up with a common budget bill before transmitting to President Rodrigo Duterte for enactment.

Angara will head the Senate panel with Migz Zubiri, Cynthia Villar, Bato Dela Rosa, Pia Cayetano, Win Gatchalian, Bong Go, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Imee Marcos, Joel Villanueva, Grace Poe, and Nancy Binay as members.

Sotto earlier said lawmakers expect the bill's approval not later than Dec. 17, when Congress adjourns session.

READ: Sotto: Senate budget approval eyed next week, bicam ratification by Dec. 10

The proposed 2022 budget is the highest in the country's history.