Duterte to sign 2021 nat’l budget in Davao City on Dec. 28

President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to sign the proposed PHP4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 on Dec. 28, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

The ceremonial signing of the proposed 2021 national budget will be held in Duterte’s hometown, Davao City, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press conference.

Kahapon po, nilinaw na 28th [of December] ang pirmahan [ng proposed 2021 budget]. At iyan po ay gagawin sa Davao (There was a clarification yesterday that the signing of the proposed 2021 budget will be held on December 28. That will be held in Davao City),” Roque said.

Roque said five representatives each from the Senate and the House of Representatives will be invited to witness the signing of the proposed 2021 General Appropriations Act.

His statement came after Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said Duterte might sign into law the budget bill either on Dec. 24 or 25.

Congress on Dec. 9 approved the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed PHP4.5-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2021.

The government plans to prioritize the government’s recovery programs for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the budget spending plan for next year.

The biggest recipients of the proposed 2021 budget are the Departments of Education (PHP708.18 billion), Public Works (PHP694.82 billion), Health (PHP287.47 billion), Local Government (PHP247. billion), Defense (PHP205.47 billion), Social Welfare (PHP176.65 billion), Transportation (PHP87.44 billion), Agriculture (PHP68.62 billion), and Labor (PHP36.6 billion).

The judiciary will also receive a big chunk of the proposed 2021 spending, which is PHP44.1 billion.

The ratified 2021 spending measure likewise includes an allocation of PHP72.5 billion for Covid-19 vaccines.

Around PHP2.5 billion of the PHP72.5 billion is under programmed funds lodged with the health department, while the remaining PHP70 billion will be unprogrammed funds allotted for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines, its storage, transportation and distribution.

Lawmakers also included additional funding of PHP44.8 billion for the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program. PNA.GOV.PH