LEYTE Rep. Yedda Romualdez yesterday joined lawmakers in strongly backing the immediate passage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first national budget for next year aimed at building a broader genuine change in the countryside.
Romualdez, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu and Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna lauded President Duterte for giving transparency a major role in his proposed P3.35-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 2017.
“With giving more value on transparency and accountability, we see no bumpy road to its (national budget) passage into law,” said Romualdez, wife of former House independent bloc leader and ex-Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).
“The budget will extend economic relief that would decently support the basic needs of ordinary Filipinos. This would promote economic expansion and a genuine ‘malasakit’ (compassion) to the people,” said Romualdez, a stalwart of Lakas-CMD.
Abu said many Filipinos will benefit from the timely passage of the national budget before the year ends.
Tugna also lauded the P2-billion increase in the budget for next year of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law Program of the Department of Health (DoH).
Under the 2016 General Appropriations Act, Tugna said the Family Health and Responsible Parenting Program faced a P1-billion budget cut after members of the bicameral conference committee redirected funds for the procurement of family planning commodities to the purchase of military equipment and increase the budget of state universities and colleges (SUCs).
The following are the departments that will get big appropriations: Department of Education (P567 billion); Department of Public Works and Highways (P458 billion); Department of the Interior and Local Government (P150 billion); Department of National Defense (P134 billion); and Department of Social Welfare and Development (P129 billion).