Duterte vetoes three budget items

Duterte vetoes three budget items

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has vetoed three minor items in the 2022 budget without funding, according to the Budget department. 

“The vetoed items were not crucial,” Budget officer-in-charge Tina Rose Marie L. Canda told an online news briefing on Friday in Filipino. 

Among the vetoed items is the application of the Agrarian Reform law to state universities and colleges and a program on gender-aware restrooms under the Transportation department, she said. 

Mr. Duterte on Thursday signed into law the P5.024-trillion national budget for next year, which is 10% higher than this year and is equivalent to 21.8% of the gross domestic product. The government expects economic output to grow by 7-9% in 2022. 

About a fifth or P1.019 trillion of the budget will go to capital outlays, including infrastructure spending, budgetary support for state-owned and companies and capital transfers to local governments. 

Ms. Canda said about P107 billion had been allotted for the government’s anti-coronavirus response, P87 billion of which would only be released once funding becomes available. 

The first quarter is already “safe,” she said, noting that P20.6 billion had been allocated for coronavirus vaccines, testing cartridges, the establishment of a virology laboratory and the allowance of health workers. — Luz Wendy T. Noble