Co-sponsorship speech on the proposed 2023 nat’l budget
By Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Senior Vice Chairperson, Senate Committee on Finance
Mr. President, I rise today to co-sponsor the 2023 budget as the Senior Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Finance in charge of the budgets of the (a) Department of Health and its attached agencies and corporations; (b) Department of Education and its attached agencies; (c) Commission on Higher Education; (d) State Universities and Colleges; (e) Cultural Agencies; and (f) the Development Academy of the Philippines.
I won’t go into details on the budgets I handled as Chairperson, because our Chairman already highlighted many of them. Suffice it to say, we sought to future-proof and use strategic foresight, to uphold intergenerational fairness, and to be prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead, because we do live in a VUCA world. VUCA, meaning, Volatile Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous.
We heard the agencies using the lens of futures thinking and the [Sustainable Development Goals] as the main blueprint and guide to help attain the different goals for a more sustainable and prosperous future.
And although the agencies whose budget this representation heard were those on health, education and the cultural agencies…as your Senior Vice Chair, we sought to participate in other hearings and will continue to do so in the plenary debates using the same lens that will ensure intergenerational fairness.
Naturally, we are guided by the Constitution – Article XIV, Section 5, par. 5 provides that “The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment.”
With studies showing that learning poverty in the Philippines is real, and the detrimental effects of not being in the classroom for almost two years due to the restrictions imposed because of COVID both in basic education and at the tertiary level, it is only fitting that we continue to look for ways to support the education sector.
On health, Article XIII, Sec. 11 of the Constitution provides that “the State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost.”
The continued support for the health sector is reflected in the budget, thanks to our Chairman. This includes improving facilities and their operations, particularly the delivery of primarily health care services, but also the establishment of specialty centers and their operations.
Increasing the carrying capacity for existing medical state universities and colleges, providing support to those with pending applications to offer medical programs , as well as increasing the carrying capacity of SUCs with Nursing and Allied Health Programs.
On another matter, UNICEF has reported that the Philippines has one million children who have not received a single dose of childhood vaccine. Funding for the hiring of immunization vaccinators will help us prevent a serious outbreak of vaccine preventable diseases like polio and measles.
On a final note, this representation appreciates the Chairperson’s trust over the years, and we thank the LBRMO and all the staff who worked on the budget. We will be ready to provide our colleagues with answers to their questions in the hope that we can continue to support these agencies. Thank you, Mr. President. #