The Philippines has been badly affected by the coronavirus disease pandemic. In this light, the analysis of the 2021 President’s Budget determines how the pandemic shaped the budgetary distribution of government’s limited financial resources with focus on the top six departments/recipients for fiscal year (FY) 2021. It shows the high spending priority given to social and economic services which is consistent with the policy pronouncements of the government for FY 2021. The government’s greatest priority for FY 2021 is to sustain and strengthen government efforts in responding to and recovering from the pandemic. Nevertheless, the emphasis on these spending priorities in the 2021 President’s Budget Message creates an expectation that DOH and DSWD will rank much higher in the top 10 departments/recipients for FY 2021. Apparently, the 2021 proposed budget gives higher spending priority on maintenance of peace and order and national defense, which placed the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of National Defense in higher spots compared to the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. A close examination of various government documents (e.g., DBM 2020e) indicates that the proposed budget for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is part of the government’s recovery program to adapt to the post-pandemic life.
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