Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 27) — An opposition lawmaker is proposing bigger budgets next year to the Departments of Health and Social Welfare and Development to strengthen the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, Senator Franklin Drilon noted the need to include the special amelioration program, or SAP, in next year’s national budget, adding priority must be given to both agencies as they are critical to the fight against COVID-19.
Drilon opined that the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for next year does not adequately respond to the country’s needs today.
He also hit the DSWD for not distributing P10 billion worth of cash aid to the poor.
Drilon said the DSWD was unable to give out the funds due to the “double compensation” and the failure of local government units to provide the list of beneficiaries.
The senator said it was not the recipients’ fault that the local government units were unable to submit their list, and the DSWD could have been more lenient during what he called “extraordinary” times.