House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Sunday vowed to muster enough votes to protect the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 to improve the lives of the poor Filipinos.
He said next year’s National Expenditure Program contains P108.8 billion for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the conditional cash transfer, and the P166.5 billion to implement the Universal Health Care law.
“We in Congress support the initiatives of the Duterte administration to empower the poor through increased subsidies and grants aimed at ending the intergenerational cycle of poverty in the country, Romualdez said.
“The House leaders agreed to extend their full support to the 2020 budget allocated for the poor Filipinos, particularly the P108.8 billion for the 4Ps program and the P166.5 billion for Universal Health Care.”
Romualdez is president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats and the Philippine Constitution Association.
Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, along with Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon, echoed Romualdez’s stance and underscored the importance of the swift passage of the 2020 national budget to achieve President Rodrigo Duterte’s target to lower the poverty incidence to 14 percent by 2022.
“We will not allow any budget delay because it will derail President Duterte’s poverty reduction efforts. House leaders under Speaker [Alan Peter] Cayetano will ensure that the government will be able to accelerate the implementation of its infrastructure projects by providing the necessary funding,” Romualdez said.
“The swift implementation of projects, such as the construction and upgrading of hospitals, schools, new roads and other vital programs that will promote the welfare of the marginalized sector, will create more opportunities and jobs for Filipinos.”
“The President is committed to relentlessly implement projects that will pursue sound reforms, social programs and provide quality life for all Filipinos,” Lagon said.
Last April, the President signed Republic Act 11310 to institutionalize the implementation of the 4Ps.
Romualdez said next year’s budget includes P67.4 billion for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and P92.2 billion for the Department of Health to strengthen the implementation of the Universal Health Care law.
At least P9.4 billion has been earmarked for hospitalization and assistance to indigent patients.
“With these initiatives, we are inching closer to the President’s target of lowering the poverty incidence to 20 percent three years from now from 30 percent in 2015, and for the Philippines to become an upper-middle-income country by 2022, Romualdez said.