Duterte Approves Record Philippine Budget for Pandemic Recovery

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a record 4.5 trillion-peso ($93.6 billion) budget for next year that economic managers have called the “heftiest stimulus package” for recovery from the pandemic.

The Philippines is expecting its economy to grow by as much 7.5% in 2021 after plunging into recession this year. Duterte’s economic team has said the 2021 budget will help boost economic growth. Next year’s budget deficit ceiling was raised to 8.9% of GDP due to higher spending.

“Every centavo of this budget must be spent to ensure our nation’s recovery,” Duterte said in a televised speech on Monday. Government has allocated 72.5 billion pesos to buy vaccines, he said.

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