Duterte railroads passage of the 2022 national budget

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In compliance with Duterte’s orders, his minions in Congress railroaded the passage of the proposed 2022 national budget approving it on second and third reading on September 30 despite being riddled with anomalies.

The ₱5.02-trillion proposed national budget is the highest in Philippine history. This includes an ₱8.2-billion allocation to the Office of the President. More than half (₱4.5 billion) of the said allotment is categorized as “intelligence and confidential funds” which will be utilized without public accounting.

The regime’s neglect for pandemic response and public health, despite the worsening crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, is evident in the proposed budget. No funds were allocated for the procurement of new medical equipment and infrastructure for 72 public hospitals which are currently facing shortages due to the influx of Covid-19 patients. Neither were funds allotted to the Research Institute for Topical Medicine which is among the leading agencies which process Covid-19 tests.

Those that will suffer budget cuts include the Philippine General Hospital, which will receive a measly allocation of ₱5.66 billion. The cumulative operating budget of 64 hospitals will also be cut by ₱14 billion.

Compensation and appropriate benefits for medical frontliners were also left unfunded. The already measly allocation for health services and procurement of personal protective equipment will be cut as well. The budget allocation for Covid-19 booster shots were categorized as unprogrammed, which means that the regime will still have look for funds either through taxes or loans.

Duterte railroads passage of the 2022 national budget