Church-labor group hits ‘social exclusion’ in proposed 2021 budget

Church-labor group hits ‘social exclusion’ in proposed 2021 budget

By CBCP News

October 21, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A Church-labor group has scored the proposed pandemic-era national budget for its supposed failure to do enough for those most affected.

In a statement, the Church People-Workers Solidarity (CWS) said the budget further shows the prevailing ‘social exclusion’ in the country.

“The proposed 2021 national budget intensifies social exclusion,” Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, CWS co-chairperson, said.

“It does not guarantee adequate health care, especially to the poorest of the poor and those severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

According to him, the budget shows that health recovery is not a priority of the government as only a tiny fraction will be allocated for health.

The CWS noted the meager proposed budget of P212.3 billion for health, P454.1 billion for social protection, and P5.1 billion support for micro, small and medium enterprises.

On the other hand, the group pointed out the proposed budget of P1.1 trillion for infrastructure projects, while the debt-servicing and military budget proposal amounts to P740.6 billion.

“There is a burgeoning budget on infrastructure amid the worst health crisis and economic decline in the country’s history,” Alminaza said.

The San Carlos bishop appealed to lawmakers to reconsider amendments in the proposed budget by putting a premium on the pressing needs of the people.

“In a time where the county is hit by the worst health crisis and economic meltdown, the country needs to prioritize health and social assistance to the most vulnerable sector of society,” he added

“Amid economic hardships and massive unemployment, the poor needed not only charity but also justice,” the prelate also said.


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