Bong Go emphasizes proper and timely use of funds critical in pandemic efforts and economic recovery
President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on Thursday, December 30, the last national budget under his administration, a measure that is critical in implementing the government’s pandemic response and in ensuring the country’s economic recovery.
In his speech, Duterte expressed his gratitude to Congress for expediting the ratification of the national budget. He went on to note that the passage of the 2022 budget demonstrates the ‘healthy collaboration’ among all branches of the government, which is crucial in achieving national development goals, especially in these hard times.
“As we mark the signing of the 2022 budget and other laws, let us all emulate Rizal’s heroism and courage by serving the country with dedication and accountability by doing what is right and just for our people,” Duterte added.
The President also stated that the 2022 budget is critical in maintaining the recovery momentum and sustaining the legacy of infrastructure development.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go commended the President for the timely signing of the budget, saying, “The signing is timely as we continue to deal with the pandemic and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette on our people and economy.”
“Nagpapasalamat naman ako sa mga kasamahan ko sa Lehislatibo at kay Pangulong Duterte sa agarang pagsasabatas ng 2022 General Appropriations Act. Sobrang napakahalaga ng budget na ito lalo na at patuloy nating nilalabanan ang pandemya at inaalalayan ang ating mga kababayang lubhang naapektuhan ng bagyong Odette,” he added.
The senator also urged government agencies to ensure the proper use of the funds, saying, “Kaya hinihimok ko ang mga kasamahan ko sa gobyerno na gamitin nang tama ang pondong inilaan upang agarang maihatid ang mga serbisyo at tulong na nararapat sa ating mga mamamayan.”
“Dapat walang masayang ni piso sa kaban ng bayan. Tiyakin nating magiging kasangkapan ang pondo ng gobyerno upang mapadali ang pagbangon ng ating bansa sa pagpasok ng Bagong Taon,” he added.
The senator then expressed his confidence that the budget was carefully considered in order to meet the demands of the Filipino people, particularly in these difficult times, and to enable the government to provide a comfortable life for all.
“Tiwala ako na ang budget na ito ay napapanahon at angkop upang tuluyan nating malampasan ang kasalukuyang pandemya at iba pang krisis sa bansa. Maipagpapatuloy din natin ang iba’t ibang programa at proyekto ng kasalukuyang administrasyon,” he stressed.
According to Go, the government continues to implement all necessary measures to save and protect lives. Also already included in the 2022 budget is an increased funding for COVID-19 response.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go successfully advocated budgetary support for the continuous implementation of the Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration strategy, the emergency hiring of COVID-19 Human Resources for Health, and hiring and training of contact tracers.
“We also ensured there would be sufficient funding for the following activities and programs: COVID-19 benefits and compensation for our healthcare workers who are at the forefront of our battle against COVID-19; COVID-19 Laboratory Network Commodities to further enhance our testing capacity; and Epidemiology and Surveillance program to strengthen our disease surveillance,” Go explained.
“We also increased the budget of our National Reference Laboratories, such as RITM, to capacitate them to do genome sequencing in light of the new emerging variants, and support for the operations of DOH hospitals across the country,” he added.
To further beef up protection against the virus, the government also ensured funding for COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots. He however emphasized the need for continued cooperation from the public in order to fully recover from the pandemic.
“Subalit, hindi naman kaya ng gobyernong sugpuin ang pandemya na mag-isa. Kaya dapat patuloy ang pakikiisa at kooperasyon ng lahat. Tandaan natin na hindi porke’t pwede nang lumabas at gumala ay hindi na tayo mag-iingat,” he said.
“Ang ating pagmamalasakit sa kapwa at pagiging disiplinado ay makakapagligtas ng buhay ng mga kapwa natin Pilipino. Kaya sama-sama po tayong maging instrumento ng pag-asa at mas ligtas na komunidad sa pagsalubong ng Bagong Taon!,” Go ended.