Senate cuts NTF-ELCAC budget to fund health worker allowance

Maris Federez   •   November 10, 2021   •   447

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Finance has cut the proposed 2022 budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Senator Sonny Angara who chaired the panel told reporters Tuesday.

Angara said the Php24 billion from the total Php28 billion budget will be transferred and used to fund the special risk allowance (SRA) of health workers.

“We cannot make a judgement really if the program has been a success or not because we’ve not received any very little information on the actual projects. Ang sinasabi dinownload na yung pondo. The DBM tells us binigay na nila yung pondo sa mga bara-baranggay or the municipality or provinces. […] ‘Yun ang inaantay namin. Asan na yung mga reports on the projects. Wala, wala pang binibigay samin,” Angara said.

Some senators expressed support for the move.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon thanked Angara for supporting his advocacy to realign the NTF-ELCAC’s budget.

“I support and congratulate Sen. Sonny Angara for the cut in the NTF-ELCAC budget. I thank him for supporting my advocacy since last year to realign this NTF ELCAC budget which duplicates other programs, and is clearly in the nature of pork barrel funds,” Drilon said.

Drilon further called for the slashing of the alleged Php2 billion hidden budget in other government agencies that will purportedly be given to the anti-insurgency task force.

“He should also cut another Php2 billion hidden in the budget of other agencies, such as TESDA, for NTF ELCAC,” he said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson also expressed his support for the budget cut, noting that the officials must be held accountable if misuse of the budget was committed.

“Not only do I support the slash in the NTF-ELCAC’s proposed budget for 2022, if such misuse was indeed committed – the officials concerned must be made accountable, if not criminally liable,” he said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Salceda appeals for incentives for barangays reaching herd immunity

Maris Federez   •   January 4, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — House Ways and Means Committee chairperson and Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda believes that barangay health workers (BHW) must be given bonuses and incentives.

Salceda stressed that these barangay workers are underpaid considering that they are the backbones of the local government’s COVID-19 response.

“Barangay Health Workers should also have bonuses and incentives for bringing in certain percentages of unvaccinated individuals to the vaccination stations. After all, they are extremely underpaid and are the backbone of local COVID-19 response,” Salceda said.

Barangay health workers are the ones bringing unvaccinated individuals to the vaccination centers so that the barangay will be able to meet the needed percentage of the population to achieve herd immunity.

Salceda, who is also the House Economic Stimulus and Recovery Cluster chairperson, said this was factored in during the deliberation of the 2022 national budget, where Php50 billion was allocated to special risk allowance (SRA).

Salceda further said that he will push for the inclusion of BHWs in the SRA guidelines.

Meanwhile, Senior Citizen Partylist Representative Rodolfo Ordones appealed to the local government units (LGU) to allow the elderly to vaccination centers even without prior online registration.

Ordones said there are still LGUs that insist that all who want to get inoculated must register online.

“Still, some LGUs insist on online registration for all seeking COVID vaccines. Please, let the seniors, PWDs and A3 get ahead because they are at higher risks of suffering and death than most others,” Ordones said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

2022 national budget, inaasahang lalagdaan ni Pangulong Duterte sa Disyembre 30 — Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Sa December 30, araw ng Huwebes, na inaasahang malalagdaan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang 2022 national budget.

Ayon kay acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles, kasama sa schedule ng Pangulo ang paglagda sa pambansang pondo na nagkakahalaga ng P5.024 trilyon.

“Inaasahan natin na tomorrow, naka-schedule po ang pagpirma ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ng 2022 GA (general appropriations) law, as promised. The president will sign this very important measure na ‘di sasapit ang December 31,” ani Nograles.

Oras namang mapirmahan ang national budget, maaari nang magamit ang pondo para sa Odette recovery efforts sa January 3, 2022, ayon sa Malakanyang. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

2022 national budget, patuloy pang binubusisi ni Pangulong Duterte — Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   December 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Patuloy pang binubusisi ng Office of the President ang 2022 national budget kaya hindi natuloy ang nakatakda sanang ceremonial signing nito ngayong Martes.

Pagtitiyak ni acting Presidential Spokesperson at Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, agad pipirmahan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang P5.024 trilyong panukalang pondo oras na matapos ang ginagawang review.

“We would want to assure and we assure the public that the budget will be signed. Pipirmahan po ni Pangulong Duterte ang budget for 2022 bago pa man sumapit ang December 31,” ani Nograles.

Aniya, kailangang mapirmahan ang pondo upang matiyak na hindi mag-ooperate ang pamahalaan sa ilalim ng re-enacted budget sa susunod na taon.

Oras na mapirmahan din ang national budget, sinabi ng Malakanyang na maaari nang magamit ang pondo para sa Odette recovery efforts sa Enero. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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