The Senate of the Philippines is expected to approve the country’s 2022 budget of $99.7 billion today.
The budget will likely be ratified in the coming weeks after it is submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for final approval. The social services sector, including health and education, will account for 38.2% of government spending, which is an increase from the 2021 budget. This portion of the budget will likely face scrutiny from the opposition as Congress recently began an investigation into government use of COVID-19 funds.
The 11.5% increase in spending relative to last year’s budget marks efforts by Duterte to counter claims that his government is providing insufficient social and economic support to those affected by the pandemic. Currently, a mass vaccination drive and border restrictions are in effect. While this seems promising, there have been no specific plans made using the new budget. This raises the question of what the increase in spending is meant to help. If these and future measures prove effective, expect Duterte’s party, PDP-Laban, and their affiliated candidates for the 2022 elections to benefit from the public response. Additionally, expect measures to generate criticism from rival parties who will criticize these actions as politically motivated.
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Gabbi is the Recruitment and Outrech Coordinator at Foreign Brief. She also writes for the Daily Brief where her regional focus centers on Europe and the former USSR. Gabbi's specialization is in intelligence and international law.