House okays P77.5-B budget amendment

The House of Representatives has announced that it made an institutional amendment amounting to P77.5-billion in the approved 2023 General Appropriations Bill, with the majority of the budget realignment would go to health, education, transportation, and other critical social services sectors.

According to House Speaker Martin Romualdez, during the period of amendments preceding the ratification of the House-approved P5.268-trillion 2023 national budget for 2023, the lower chamber augmented the budget of frontline agencies tasked to address the economic, health, energy, and environmental crises.

The Speaker disclosed the P77.5-billion figure on the amendments Wednesday, barely hours after the so-called “small committee” convened.

The amendments include P20.25 billion for several Department of Health programs, including Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients (P13 billion), allowances for frontline personnel in the healthcare and non-healthcare industries (P5 billion), and additional funding for the Philippine Children’s Medical Center Health, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and 10 dialysis assistance centers nationwide (P500 million each) (P250 million) and Cancer Assistance Program (250 million).

It also includes P500 million for the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, P10 billion for constructing schools and classrooms by the Department of Education, and P581 million for special education programs.

The Department of Public Works and Highways was also given P10 billion to build water systems in underserved upland barangays.

Also included in the amendments are the allocation of P12.5 billion for the Sustainable Livelihood Program (P2.5 billion), the National Commission of Senior Citizens’ improvement of senior citizens’ pension (P5 billion), and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (P5 billion).

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