MANILA — The government will seek the highest ever national budget at P5.024 trillion for 2022, Malacañang said on Tuesday, as the Philippines continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposed expenditure plan is equivalent to about 22.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product, and higher by 11.5 percent than the 2021 budget, according to a slideshow that Palace spokesman Harry Roque presented.
"Ang proposed budget para sa susunod na taon ay nasa P5.024 trillion, ang pinakamataas na budget sa ating kasaysayan," Roque said in a press briefing.
(The proposed budget for next year is at around P5.024 trillion, the highest in our history.)
Video courtesy of PTV
The social services sector will receive the biggest chunk or around 38 percent of the proposed budget, at P1.922 trillion, he said.
This sector will fund education-related programs and medical services, like the universal health program and the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, said the Palace official.
He said the economics services sector, which covers the government's infrastructure drive, will get P1.474 trillion or 29 percent.
Other sectors with the bigger slices of the proposed budget include the following:
- General public services - 17.2 percent or P826.7 billion
- Debt burden - P541.3 billion or 10.8 percent
- Defense - P224.4 billion or 4.5 percent
Among agencies, the education sector will get the highest allocation of P773.6 billion, followed by the public works department with P686.1 billion, the interior department with P250.4 billion, and the health department with P242 billion, Roque said.
Roque said the Department of Public Works and Highways' proposed budget includes pandemic-related funding, including that for modular hospitals and treatment facilities.
"Talaga pong prayoridad natin ang kalusugan sa panahon ng pandemya," he said.
(Our priority is really health during the pandemic.)
The budget department is finalizing the budget proposal and aims to submit it for approval to Congress on Monday, Aug. 23, said Roque.
The Philippines has a P4.506-trillion budget this year.