MANILA — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Thursday the nearly $100 billion national budget for 2022 to fund the country’s sustained recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The budget is set to inspire actions that focus on building resilience amidst the pandemic, sustaining the momentum towards recovery, and continuing the legacy of infrastructure development,” Duterte said during the signing ceremony at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila.
The 5.024 trillion pesos (roughly $ 98.44 billion) budget, 10 percent higher than the 2021 budget, will prioritize the people’s health by ensuring affordable and accessible healthcare for all Filipinos, said Duterte.
To guarantee the streamlined operation of the current health system, Duterte said 88.9 billion pesos were allocated for the health facilities operations program and the procurement of drugs, medicines, and vaccines.
The budget allotted 17 billion pesos to the Human Resources for Health Deployment Program to fund the salaries and benefits of public health personnel.
Duterte said the 2022 budget will also provide essential funding requirements to safeguard and support displaced workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to foster socio-economic recovery.
The Philippines has been grappling with the pandemic since 2020. It now has over 2.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 51,213 deaths.