The Palace is expected to submit to the House of Representatives today, Tuesday, the proposed P4.1-trillion national government budget for 2020.
Malacañang’s economic managers will meet with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Davao City and Rep. Isidro Ungab and other leaders to seek the money measure’s speedy passage.
Romualdez said the House will immediately tackle the budget proposal and subject it to a thorough study to make it responsive to the needs of the people.
He said the House will approve the budget on third and final reading in October.
“The timely passage of the national budget and other priority measures will further propel the country’s economic growth. If we can sustain this, we might go to greater heights never seen before,” Romualdez said.
He said “lifting Filipinos out of poverty is the top priority of President Rodrigo Duterte in the next three years and we need everybody’s support for this mission.
“The numbers now are good. All poverty indicators are at an all-time low. We just need to stay the course and make sure that all the programs and policies are in place for the next phase of the war against poverty.”
The House committee on appropriations, led by Ungab, is scheduled to conduct the budget hearings from Monday to Friday starting on Aug. 22 to ensure its timely passage.
“We will do our best to approve the budget on time and exercise our constitutional duty to scrutinize the budget to make sure that every peso that we appropriate will contribute to the overall growth and development of the country, Ungab said.
He said the appropriations committee hoped to finish the budget hearings by the second week of September and start the plenary deliberations as soon as the panel approved its committee report.
The target date for passing the General Appropriations Bill is Oct. 4 before the congressional recess, Ungab said.
The budget hearings will kick off on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 9 a.m. with a briefing of the Development Budget Coordination Committee, the inter-agency body that determines the overall economic targets, expenditure levels and the budget of the government.
The DBCC is composed of the Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Finance and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Then on Friday, Aug. 23, the appropriations committee will review the budget proposals of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
The Budget department earlier said the 2020 national budget had the theme “Continuing the Journey to a More Peaceful and Progressive Philippines” as it hoped to “sustain the tremendous progress that the Philippines has made as a nation during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The theme was also consistent with the administration’s goal of becoming a middle-income country where no one lacked opportunities, the department said.
It said the 2020 cash appropriations would give priority to the acceleration of infrastructure, anti-poverty, and pro-employment spending. It said the Build, Build, Build Program would continue to be the flagship program of the Duterte administration’s infrastructure development plan, reaching around P1.8 trillion or 6.9 percent of the country’s GDP by 2022.
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