House, Senate ratify 2021 budget bill

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Both the Senate and House of Representatives ratified on Wednesday the proposed P4.5-trillion 2021 national spending plan, with the upper chamber noting that the budget would allow the government to intensify COVID-19 response programs.

In his sponsorship speech, Senate Committee on Finance chair Sen. Sonny Angara expressed his confidence that the budget bill will enable the government to properly address the health crisis by allocating funds to appropriate programs.

In ratifying the budget, the House adopted the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the General Appropriations Act.

“This budget reflects the serious commitment of the Duterte government to defeat COVID-19 and bring the economy back on track,” House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said in a separate statement.

Sen. Grace Poe lauded the ratification of the 2021 budget, saying its timely passage would “will fuel the revival of the economy.”

“It seeks to respond to real needs for better health protection, equal access to quality education, efficient transportation and infrastructure and inclusive social protection,” Poe said.

Among the senators, only Sen. Panfilo Lacson voted against the bicameral committee report on the 2021 national budget, bringing up once again the increase in the DPWH’s budget.