LEADERS of the House of Representatives confirmed on Thursday that they would fast-track the approval of the bill on the P4.1-trillion budget for 2020 this Friday, after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the measure as urgent.
This will be the first time under the Cayetano leadership that a major measure will be approved on second and third reading on the same day.
“Given the said certification, the P4.1-trillion budget for 2020 may be passed on the same day without waiting for separate days to have it approved on second and third readings,” House appropriations committee chairman Isidro Ungab said in a statement.
Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said that the budget would move the nation “towards a more peaceful and progressive Philippines,” as what the President had envisioned.
“We, in Congress, support the initiatives of the Duterte administration to empower the poor through increased subsidies and grants aimed at ending the intergenerational cycle of poverty in the country,” Romualdez said.
Rep. Joey Salceda, House ways and means committee chairman, reiterated that the 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) was the same as the National Expenditure Program (NEP).
“Since GAB is 100 percent NEP, the President certified it. So we can approve the budget tomorrow [Friday] on third reading,” Salceda said.
On September 17, President Rodrigo Duterte sent a letter to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, which certified House Bill (HB) 4228 as urgent “in order to expedite the funding of various programs, projects and activities for fiscal year 2020” and to ensure “budgetary preparedness” of the government in performing its constitutional mandate. GLEE JALEA