The Senate Committee on Finance worked tirelessly to ensure that the 2022 National Budget was approved on time. This is even more significant at this time when amidst the efforts to control the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID, several regions of our country were hit by Typhoon Odette, causing widespread destruction, the magnitude of which has never been seen before by the communities affected. With the signing of the 2022 General Appropriations Act, urgently needed funds can already be released at the start of the year to help the communities ravaged by Typhoon Odette.
Matindi ang pangangailangan ng mga lugar na nasalanta ng bagyo at mahalaga na maibuhos sa maagang panahon ang pera para mas maagang maipatayo ulit ang mga nasirang bahay, ospital, paaralan at iba pang imprastraktura at makabangon ang lahat ng naapektuhan.
We wish to thank President Duterte for his swift action on the GAA just as he has done in previous years. Our gratitude also goes to the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives and to my vice chairpersons in the Senate Committee on Finance: Senators Pia Cayetano, Ronald Dela Rosa, Win Gatchalian, Bong Go, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Imee Marcos, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva and Cynthia Villar who strived to ensure the on-time completion of the budget deliberations. We also acknowledge the work of our counterparts from the House of Representatives, who just like our fellow senators, were one in recognizing the urgency of approving the 2022 GAA—knowing fully well the disastrous consequences of having a reenacted budget.
The 2022 GAA will further strengthen the country’s response to the pandemic. There can be no letup in the fight against COVID-19 and its new variants. As long as we are able to contain the spread of the virus, we can have more confidence in sustaining the recovery of the economy and the return to normal of the lives of most, if not all, of our Kababayans.