The Duterte administration will prioritize the country’s education, infrastructure and health needs in 2022, as reflected in the approved general appropriations act or GAA for the said fiscal year.
Signed on Thursday, the P5.02 trillion GAA for 2022 is equivalent to 21.8 percent of the country’s overall gross domestic product.
Still, the latest budget was 10 percent higher than the P4.5 trillion 2021 GAA.
“By budget allocation, the education sector which includes the DepEd (Department of Education), SUC (state universities and colleges) and the CHEd (Commission on Higher Education) shall receive the highest allocation with P788.5 billion,” the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.
Infrastructure comes next with the Department of Public Works and Highways receiving P786.6 billion, followed by the Department of Health and PhilHealth with P268.4 billion,” it added.
According to DBM, the 2022 GAA’s priorities was decided amid the persisting pandemic as well as the events that transpired in 2021.
While at it, the 2022 budget was also formulated to provide the necessary funding requirements to foster socioeconomic recovery, which include support to displaced workers and cash aid to poor families.
Two budgets in 2022
President Rodrigo Duterte inked into law the extended validity of the 2021 GAA, allowing government agencies to utilize such funds for another year.
“In particular, appropriations for maintenance and other operating expenses as well as for capital outlays are now available for release, obligation and disbursement until the end of the next fiscal year,” the DBM said.
“In addition, funds for infrastructure capital outlays, including those subsidy releases to GOCC for infrastructure can now be obligated, completed and paid out until 31 December 2022,” it added.
The DBM said all unreleased appropriations and unobligated allotments shall lapse after the one-year extension while undisbursed or unspent funds will be reverted back to the national coffers.