Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon wants additional funding for the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021.
In a radio interview Sunday (September 27), Drilon expressed dismay at the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) because of the small allocations given to government agencies at the frontlines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic. \
He cited as example DOH, whose proposed funding for 2021 was only P127.28 billion. This is only P27 billion higher than its current budget.
“Alam mo, sa aking tingin yung ating 2021 proposed national budget ay ginawa na parang walang pandemic na hinaharap. Hindi ito tumutugon sa hinaharap nating pandemya. Hindi responsive,” Drilon said.
Drilon said the budgets of DSWD and DOH could be increased by realigning the P19-billion funding for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). The administration’s confidential and intelligence funds could also be slashed, he added.
The opposition lawmaker said lump sum appropriations in the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) could be allocated instead to DSWD and DOH.