Senator Win Gatchalian said the government should continue pouring in funds for COVID-19 response measures addressing the ongoing health crisis as well as income and job generation programs in the proposed P5.024-trillion national budget next year.
“Ang taong 2022 ay COVID-19-year pa rin. Dapat tutukan pa rin natin ang paglaban sa COVID-19 kaya ibig sabihin kailangan ng sapat na pondong pambili ng vaccines, hospital support, medical frontliners’ support at suporta sa mga gamot na panlaban sa COVID-19,” Gatchalian said.
Government-financed short-term and other job-generating programs to address the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak that is essential to economic recovery should likewise be given precedence over other items in the proposed national appropriations, the senator said.
“Nakikita natin na magiging matumal pa rin ang negosyo sa susunod na taon at kailangang tulungan natin na makabangon sila lalo na ‘yung maliliit na negosyo. Survival mode sila so as much as possible kailangan nilang maitawid ang 2022 para sa 2023 ay mas maayos at maginhawa na ang sitwasyon nila,” Gatchalian said.
“Dapat merong suporta ang gobyerno para sa maliliit na negosyo. For example, standby capital na hindi utang. Kapital ang ibibigay natin. Kung ikaw halimbawa ay isang established na negosyo at naapektuhan ka ng COVID-19, dapat ay mabigyan ka ng standby capital para meron nang puhunan para sa 2023 at mabilis nang makakabangon,” he added.
The Vice Chairperson of the Senate Economic Affairs Committee said the resignation of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel Avisado will not stall Congress’ deliberations on the national expenditure.
“The DBM is institution-ready. Mayroon naman silang mechanisms to make sure that the budget is submitted on time. Importante na masumite ito on time dahil once ma-delay ‘yan, delayed na lahat,” Gatchalian said, empathizing with the former Cabinet official for prioritizing his health recovery after contracting COVID-19 earlier this month.
Malacanang on Tuesday announced that the 2022 National Expenditure Program (NEP) will be submitted to Congress on Monday, August 23, 2021.