THE Senate on Tuesday approved the proposed 2014 national budget which is P3.2 billion lower than the P2.268 trillion budget approved by the House of Representatives.
Voting 16-0, the chamber approved the P2.263 trillion 2014 General Appropriations Bill (GAB). The measure will be deliberated upon by the bicameral conference committee once the Senate Committee on Finance acts on all the individual amendments that will be submitted by the senators.
Senators approved a lower budget because they took out the P3.2-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of 15 senators and of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The move of the Senate to pass the budget on final reading without tackling, on the floor, the individual amendments is not new, according to Senate President Franklin Drilon, the Senate did the same in 1992.
According to Drilon, the chamber authorized the Finance committee headed by Sen. Francis Escudero to act on individual amendments that will be submitted by the senators this afternoon.
“This will be transparent because the committee chair is required to submit, to all the members of the Senate, the individual amendment which will be accepted and which will be carried to the bicameral conference committee,” he explained.