PLENARY debates on the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018 began at the House of Representatives today, Monday.
Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles of Davao City, who leads the committee on appropriations, delivered his sponsorship speech for House Bill (HB) 6215 or the 2018 General Appropriations Bill (GAB), signaling the start of the debate stage.
Nograles said in part, “Mr. Speaker, pahintulutan ninyong udyukin ko ang marangal na kapulungang ito na aprubahan ang kabuuan ng panukalang 3.767 trilyong pisong badyet para sa taong 2018, at nawa’y magawa ito nang agaran, bagama’t sa matalinong paraan. Ito po’y tungkulin natin sa higit isandaang milyong Pilipino kung kanino tayo’y sumumpa na sila’y masugid nating paglilingkuran.”
(Mr. Speaker, allow me to urge this honorable chamber to approve the entirety of the proposed P3.767-trillion budget for the year 2018, and may it be done speedily but wisely. This is our duty to the over 100 million Filipinos whom we promised to diligently serve.)
In a statement issued on Sunday, Nograles said the House would strive to finish the plenary debates on “Friday, September 8, and have HB 6215 passed on third and final reading.”
It is expected that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the measure into law on or before November 15, according to the same statement.
“Passing the national budget before the end of the year is a tradition that Congress intends to keep under the Duterte administration,” Nograles said in the statement.
“Although there is much exigency in passing the GAB this year because of the impending switch to federalism and other matters, we assure the public that we legislators exercised and will exercise the power of the purse to its fullest, as it is our mandate,” he added.