President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law the PHP 5.024 trillion (USD 97.9 billion) national budget for 2022, which will be used for the country’s COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette.
The budget is significantly higher by 11.5% than last year’s PHP 4.5 trillion (USD 87.7 billion) national budget. The Philippine’s national budget for 2022 is also the biggest in South East Asia.
The Philippines, among the worst hit counties by the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia, plans to spend up to PHP 48.2 billion (USD 939.5 million) for vaccine purchases in 2022 as it ramps up its booster program. Furthermore, the country has allocated PHP 23 billion (USD 448.3 million) to construct new health facilities, expand and upgrade existing ones, and procure equipment for hospitals. The government will also spend PHP 983 million (USD 19.2 million) for the establishment of a virology institute, which will help the government study and address novel, emerging, and re-emerging viruses.
Importantly, the government aims to expand the economy at rates of 7% to 9% for 2022, and 6% to 7% for the following two years.
(Sources: Philippine News Agency; SWI swissinfo.ch)