Senator Sonny Angara vowed Monday for the timely passing of the P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 as soon as Malacañang sends the National Expenditure Program to Congress.
“We don’t want a repeat of 2019 when government had to operate on a reenacted 2018 national budget for five months, which led to serious delays in the implementation of key programs and projects and slower GDP growth,” he said in a statement.
Angara is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.
The government had to rely on a re-enacted budget from January to April of 2019 after Congress failed to pass the General Appropriations Act due to alleged anomalous insertions in the spending bill.
The senator said delayed approvals of the national budget force different government agencies to implement projects within a shorter time.
“We end up with inefficiencies in the utilization of funds, and this is a disservice to the people who want to see that their taxes are being put to good use,” he said.
“This is especially important now that we are still grappling with a pandemic, and we need to implement key programs to address its impacts,” he added.
The 2021 national budget has the theme: “Reset, Rebound and Recover: Investing for Resiliency and Sustainability” and has been approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, said Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Sunday.
The DBM is currently finalizing the 2021 National expenditure Program and other budget documents to be submitted to Congress before the 30-day Constitutional deadline.
Angara noted that the proposed 2021 budget is 9.9% higher than the 2020 budget and is equivalent to 21.8% of the country’s GDP.
He added the proposed budget is expected to allocate funds for programs that would stimulate economic recovery.
“We want to see more support for our ailing industries and businesses such as tourism and the micro, small and medium enterprises, almost all of which were forced into dormancy during the government-imposed lockdowns,” he said.
“We have to accelerate our efforts to connect our communities no matter how remote they are because, under the new normal, connectivity is of utmost importance. Our educational system depends on this now that distance learning is the norm,” he added.