House body considers budgets of ‘vital’ agencies

September 8, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 250 views

To help OFWs, homeless, workers, MSMEs

UPON the instruction of Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, the House Committee on Appropriations on Thursday considered the 2023 budgets of the departments that look after the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the homeless, workers, as well as micro-small-and medium-scale entrepreneurs (MSMEs).

“With the full support and expert guidance of Speaker Martin Romualdez, vice-chairperson Rep. Stella Quimbo and I will submit the 2023 national budget for immediate approval by the House plenary. The proposed budget will address the issues of recovery and growth that are the President’s main economic goals,” said Ako Bicol Rep. Zaldy Co, chairman of the House committee on appropriations.

“The budgets of the Departments of Migrant Workers [DMW]; Housing, Settlement, and Urban Development [DHSUD]; Labor and Employment [DOLE]; and Trade and Industry [DTI] impact the most vulnerable members of Philippine society,” Co said.

“OFWs, homeless Filipinos, workers, and MSMEs have been among the most affected by the pandemic. Their recovery will spell the recovery of the entire country,” Co added.

The House Committee on Appropriations chairman said the P14.970-billion budget for 2023 of the newly created DMW will address all aspects of migrant labor, from deployment to compensation and working conditions to remittance to reintegration.

“Niyanig din ng pandemiya ang kalagayan ng ating mga OFW. Marami ang nawalan ng trabaho at kailangang umuwi. Sa masusing pagtungon sa mga problema ng OFWs at sa pagtungo sa tinatawag na ‘new normal’, kailangang matutukan ang kapakanan nila at ng kanilang pamilya,” Co said.

He said the DHSUD’s P3.951-billion budget for 2023 seeks to address the homelessness of Filipinos.

It is broken down as follows: Office of the Secretary with P1.042 billion, Human Settlements Adjudication Commission with P408.9 million, National Housing Authority (NHA) with P2 billion, and P500 million subsidy to Social Housing Finance.

“Isang adhikain at pangarap ng bawat pamilyang Filipino na magkaroon ng disente at murang bahay, but for many Filipinos, this dream only remains what it is: a dream. Affordable home helps people create a better life for themselves and their families,” Co said.

He said DOLE’s P25.899-billion budget for 2023 should develop and harness the country’s human resources, as an integral part of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s socio-economic “Agenda for Prosperity” and economic transformation he presented in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Malaking bahagi ng ating populasyon ay manggagawa. Kaya susi ang kagalingan ng lakas paggawa sa kagalingan ng bansa. Maunlad ang bansa kung maunlad ang kabuhayan ng mga manggagawa,” Co said.

DTI’s P19.998-billion budget for next year will focus on the “backbone of the Philippine economy, the MSMSEs.”

“That the DTI prioritizes MSMEs is laudable considering that almost all enterprises fall under the category and only a handful is large corporations. We also laud the DTI for focusing on digitalizing commercial processes, including MSMEs, as a strategy to grow the Philippine economy,” Co said.

The House Committee on Appropriations is hastening the hearings on the budgets of individual departments that comprise the Philippine bureaucracy to meet Congress’ self-imposed October deadline for submitting the proposed 2023 national budget to the Senate.