Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
December 30, 2021

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the Department of Migrant Workers Act and the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2022 in a ceremony at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace.

The 2022 GAA, amounting to PhP5.024 trillion, is significantly higher by 11.5% than this year’s national budget. Expenditures related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic response and recovery operations after the onslaught of Typhoon ‘Odette’ in several provinces are expected to be included in the 2022 GAA.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) already announced that PhP6 billion out of the PhP10 billion pledged by the Chief Executive to be utilized in the recovery of typhoon-torn areas in various localities within the Visayas and Mindanao would be sourced from the 2022 national budget.

Among the agencies with the highest budget allocation are the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Agriculture (DA), The Judiciary, and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Furthermore, the national budget plan is guided by a strategy supported by three (3) main pillars: building resilience amidst the pandemic; sustaining the momentum towards recovery; and continuing the legacy of infrastructure development.

Today’s program also included the announcement on the enactment into Law of the Bill Extending the Availability of the 2021 GAA. President Duterte had earlier signed Republic Act No. 11640 entitled, “An Act Extending the Availability of the 2021 Appropriations to December 31, 2022, Amending for the Purpose Section 62 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 11518, the General Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2021”.

Likewise, the Chief Executive signed the Department of Migrant Workers Act. According to Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go, the creation and establishment of the proposed Department is one of the priorities of President Duterte — even certifying it as an urgent Bill in March.

This is expected to benefit an estimated total of 2.2 million Filipinos abroad based on the 2019 Survey on Overseas Filipinos released in 2020 by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco witnessed the signing ceremony along with other lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives, Cabinet Secretaries and other invited guests.

President Duterte also delivered his message to the Filipino people after signing the two (2) Bills into Laws.

In his speech, the President expressed his “appreciation to the members of Congress for ensuring the timely ratification of the more than 5-trillion peso national budget… I also recognize the efforts of our government agencies, our partners from civil society and other civil servants who took part in the crafting of this important legislation.”

“Indeed, the passage of the General Appropriations Act of 2022 reflects the healthy collaboration among all branches of government, which is crucial to the attainment of our national development goals, especially during these trying times,” he added.

The Chief Executive also highlighted, “The 2022 budget reaffirms the government’s strong commitment to provide a more comfortable and productive life for each Filipino.”

On the signing of the Department of Migrant Workers Act, President Duterte said, “The establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers happens on the celebration of Rizal Day, when we honor, not only the exceptional love of country of Dr. Jose Rizal, but also the patriotism, excellence and courage of our modern-day heroes, including our overseas Filipino [workers].”

In line with the commemoration of Rizal Day, the Chief Executive also encouraged every Filipino to emulate Rizal’s heroism and courage. He called on workers in the government to do what is right and just for the Filipino people.

According to him, “There is no better way to serve the Filipinos but to give them an honest government.”

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