Nation’s welfare, COVID response paramount concern in budget deliberation — Romualdez

August 26, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 363 views

HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez on Thursday assured the public that the House of representatives will uphold the country’s interests and survival from the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic in the ongoing deliberations of the P5.024 trillion national budget for next year.

“Rest assured that during the congressional review, our people’s interest in these challenging times will be our primordial concern,” Romualdez, chairman of the House Committee on Eules, said after attending the first budget briefing by the House Committee on Appropriations led by ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap.

“This, I believe, will help our common efforts to sustain our COVID-19 response efforts while supporting the gradual transition to full recovery,” he said.

During the first day of the budget hearing, Yap’s panel focused on the macroeconomic assumptions of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) — composed of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DOF), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on 2022 national budget.

Some attendees in the hybrid budget deliberations were Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, NEDA Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, and Budget officer in charge Usec. Tina Canda.

“Today (Thursday) we will be deliberating the macroeconomic assumptions adopted and approved by the Development Budget Coordination Committee or DBCC to arrive at the P5.024 trillion budget.

“We shall determine the viability of the proposed revenue program, the borrowing, and financing requirements to finance the proposed expenditure program. We shall also determine the prioritization adopted in allocating our financial resources for the fiscal year 2022 budget amid the continuing threat of this global pandemic,” Yap said.

Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), appealed to his colleagues to scrutinize the National Expenditure Program (NEP) designed to push the Philippines’ gradual transition to full recovery status from pandemic.

“This, I believe, will help our common efforts to sustain our COVID-19 response efforts while supporting the gradual transition to full recovery. It is now the duty of your representatives to review the proposed budget to ensure that the people’s taxes will be spent fairly and equitably among regions,” said Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines (UP) and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).