President Duterte signs P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows the signed 2021 General Appropriations Act following the ceremonial signing at the Malacañan Palace on December 28, 2020. I Alfred Frias, Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has signed into law on Monday, December 28, the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget that allocates money for the government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and infrastructure development.

Attending the signing ceremony in Malacañang were select members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“I stand before you today happy and proud to sign the 2021 General Appropriations Act,” President Duterte said in his message.

“This important piece of legislation attests to the importance of an active and fruitful collaboration between the Executive and the Legislative branches of government, especially at this time when the health and welfare of our people are at stake.”

The ratification of the 2021 national budget manifests the commitment of all stakeholders to set aside divisive partisan politics for national good.

The President commended the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and civil society partners, which provided extensive knowledge and technical expertise in crafting the expenditure program that will enable the country to rebuild and push the economy forward.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte flashes his signature pose with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Christopher Go, Juan Edgardo Angara and Francis Tolentino, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez, Representatives Eric Yap and Joseph Stephen Paduano, and Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado after the ceremonial signing of the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) at the Malacañan Palace on December 28, 2020. I King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo

With the signing of the 2021 national budget, the President said his administration could continue pursuing its flagship Build, Build, Build program, revitalize the industry and service sectors, and support much-needed social services projects.

“Let me stress, however, that one of the most important items in the 2021 budget is the allocation of 72.5 billion pesos for the purchase, storage, transportation, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.

“As we look forward with hope for the coming year, let me assure the public that this administration will ensure the efficient use of our resources through a sound fiscal policy that will enable us to overcome the debilitating effects of the pandemic on public health and our economy,” he added.

President Duterte assured the Filipino public that every centavo contained in next year’s spending measure would be spent to ensure the nation’s recovery, resilience, and sustainability.

Under the 2021 national budget, the education sector received the lion’s share with P708 billion.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) came second with P694 billion while the country’s health sector got the third highest allocation with P287 billion.

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