MANILA - A delay in budget proceedings will affect government's programs that seek to end hunger in the country, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Monday.
Lawmakers are set to convene a special session from Tuesday until Thursday after President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent the 2021 national budget.
Allies of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, however, are set to oust Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in a bid to enforce their term-sharing deal that Duterte brokered last year.
"Napakaimportante yung 2021 budget dahil dito nakapaloob ang pagtugon natin sa pangangailan ng ating mga kababyan lalong lalo na sa laban natin sa COVID, at syempre nakapaloob dito yung tungkol sa zero hunger natin," Nograles told ANC's Headstart.
(The 2021 budget is very important because it contains our response to the needs of our countrymen as we fight COVID-19 and it also contains our zero hunger programs.)
"Ang bottomline dyan (The bottomline) is jobs, the economy and we really need to build up the economy and get economic opportunities back...Di naman tayo pwede puro feeding program lamang, we have to empower the people to get back on their feet, feed their own families and to really make this economy work."
A reenacted budget will also affect government's zero hunger programs as it "won't get the new programs across," Nograles said.
The 2021 budget provides for the programs of the National Nutrition Council composed of different agencies which aim to "end all forms of malnutrition," he added.
These include enhanced partnerships against hunger and poverty, support services for agrarian reform beneficiaries, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, sustainable livelihood program of the social welfare department, school-based feeding program of the education department, and the agriculture agency's food security program, among others.