P5 trillion proposed 2022 national budget will bankroll Duterte’s legacy of tyranny and oppression

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the whopping P5.024-trillion proposed budget for the fiscal year 2022 is not a budget for recovery and building resilience amid the pandemic but a budget to bankroll Duterte’s legacy of tyranny and oppression. Second-year into the pandemic, Malacanang and the economic cluster led by DBM, DOF, and NEDA are once again inclined to approve a national budget with skewed priorities and objectives,” said KMP and Anakpawis Rafael Mariano. 

Congress started its marathon deliberations for the 2022 national budget proposal.

Based on the President’s Budget Message, social protection will get a lesser budget of P475.9 billion compared to debt servicing that will get P1.3 trillion, and infrastructure that will get P1.180 trillion. The health sector that is at the core of this ongoing battle against COVID, will get a meager allocation of P252.4 billion. 

Spending trillions of pesos for infrastructure during an election year is enough to suspect the intent and motives of this budget proposal. We know that fund for infrastructure projects often funnels to corruption, particularly projects under the DPWH. Bakit laging napakalaki ng pondo para sa Build, Build, Build samantalang minemenos ang para sa mas mahahalagang serbisyong panlipunan? NEDA admitted that the budget for infrastructure has more than doubled under the Duterte regime. 

A large chunk of the proposed national budget will also go to public order with P854.3 billion. In particular, Malacanang wants to give NTF-ELCAC a bigger budget of P28.1 billion for 2021 while the DILG and DND will have a combined budget of P472.4 billion. On the contrary, according to KMP, agriculture and agrarian development will get a much lesser share in the national budget with P152.1 billion. 

KMP said the government keeps prioritizing debt servicing and infrastructure in the national budget while disregarding the financing of much-needed social services and economic aid for the pandemic-stricken population. 

Our current debt burden is at more than P11-trillion. After Duterte’s term, it will further balloon to a massive P13-trillion. Wala na ngang pakinabang sa pambansang badyet ang mayorya ng masa, nagkautang pa dahil sa mga inutang ng rehimeng Duterte. ###

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