NECESSARY adjustments in the proposed 2021 national budget have been made to prioritize the country’s procurement of vaccines against COVID-19, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said on Wednesday, December 16.
“We have made all the requisite adjustments, congressmen have made all the sacrifices to prioritize the vital needs of the nation, in terms of medical concerns like vaccines and social amelioration program,” he said in a news forum.
“We are one with the President (Rodrigo Duterte) and one with you and the nation to defeat this COVID pandemic and help us recover economically,” he added.
Romualdez also assured that House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is focused on passing vital legislations that will help the Philippines recover from the damages inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Speaker is very focused on this and he is providing the efficiencies and better performance of this Congress,” he said.
“We are very confident that with the able and steady hands of the Speaker and the unified leadership, we shall achieve these goals and reach our destination to full recovery and back to prosperity in 2021,” he added.
Among Velasco’s top priorities is procuring a COVID-19 vaccine for House members and employees.
Velasco on Wednesday said that the House of Representatives will be setting aside P50 million of its internal funds to purchase vaccines for their House employees.
“Five of their immediate family members will be included mainly because we just want the legislative mill to be grinding,” Velasco said.
He added that the House media will be included as well.
“Naisip ko rin po na ang ating (I also include our) media friends, we consider you as our family, we will include our media friends to be part of the vaccines,” Velasco explained.
House lawmakers, on the other hand, will not be prioritized.
“Kapag may natira (if there are more vaccines), that’s the time we will use them for the House members and their families,” Velasco said.