PHILIPPINE STAR

SENATOR JUAN Edgardo E. Angara, chair of the ways and means committee, said on Wednesday that the 2022 budget must reflect the government’s concrete plans for the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, he said the 2022 expenditure plan serves as “the major downpayment we will be making for our hard and long road to recovery.”

He said President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s last budget request should “capture the urgency and the dimensions” of the recovery that he laid out during his final State of the Nation Address on Monday.

“The budget puts the money where the rhetoric is,” Mr. Angara said.

Mr. Duterte, in his more than 14,500-word address, did not lay out specific steps on how his administration, on its last year, aims to get the country out of recession.

“But the good thing is that the foundations for that recovery have been laid out through laws and programs that promote economic growth with social equity,” Mr. Angara said, citing the Universal Health Care Act and other laws passed addressing social services improvement.

Nonetheless, the lawmaker stressed the need to fast-track all programs “because the window to make the turnaround won’t stay open for long.” — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan