Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday welcomed the House of Representatives’ move to include a P2-billion budget for emergency cash assistance in the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021.

drilon 2 - Drilon welcomes House’s move to earmark P2-B assistance to poor in 2021 budget
Senator Franklin Drilon
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I welcome the submission by the House of Representatives of the 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB). This will give us enough time to scrutinize the 2021 spending outlay extensively to make sure that it will address the pressing needs brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Drilon said in a statement.

Drilon also said he supports the Lower House’s initiative to increase the budget for vaccine procurement from P2.5-billion to P8-billion.

“I am glad that the House version has allocated a budget of P2 billion for DSWD’s SAP (social amelioration package) or ‘ayuda’,” he said.

“They still need augmentation and I will fight for a higher budget for vaccine procurement and ayuda when we debate on it on the floor,” he added.

The Senate is expected to start the deliberations on the proposed national budget as soon as it resumes session on Nov. 9.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senate Finance Committee chief Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara earlier thanked the House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for making good on his commitment to submit the 2021 budget bill to the Senate by Oct. 28.

They said this gives the Senate confidence of being able to pass the budget in December and prevent a reenacted budget.

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