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Monday, June 24, 2024

Romualdez-led House vows ample budget for WPS defense amid Chinese provocations

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The House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez has committed to allocating ample budgetary resources to agencies safeguarding the West Philippine Sea (WPS) amid ongoing Chinese provocations within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe affirmed that their chamber remains resolute in its support for modernization programs, especially those benefiting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

As the budget season approaches, Dalipe emphasized the House’s consistent support for modernization initiatives presented annually in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) by the executive department.

Dalipe highlighted the proactive approach taken by House members to enhance these programs during budget deliberations.

“The [House] has always been supportive to all these modernization programs whether it is for the AFP, for the PCG every time that the [NEP] is presented to us by the executive department,” Dalipe said.

“When the House members see that there is really a need to support these modernization programs… we not just support the programs, but we even add to what we see during the budget deliberations that are lacking when they present the NEP,” he continued.

Looking ahead to the upcoming budget season, Dalipe assured full support from the House for institutions like the PCG and the Philippine Navy.

“Rest assured that when the budget season comes this August, September, the House of Representatives, as always and as expected, will be in full support to the [PCG], to the Philippine Navy or any agency that is tasked to help protect our sovereignty,” Dalipe said.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is expected to submit the 2025 NEP to Congress soon after President Marcos delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

This would officially start the budget season in Congress when lawmakers will scrutinize, debate, and amend the proposed allocations to ensure the effective use of public funds for the country’s development.

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