The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading Friday night—seen by legislative observers as in record time—the proposed P4.1 trillion national government budget for 2020.
House leaders said the next year’s budget, contained in House Bill 4228, would “push the nation into a more peaceful and progressive Philippines.”
A total of 272 congressmen attended the session.
Exactly one month after President Duterte submitted to Congress the National Expenditure Program last August 20, the House leadership led by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez endorsed the General Appropriations Bill for Senate approval in the hope the budget would “provide a comfortable lives for the Filipino people.”
It was the third time in the history of Congress that the House of Representatives approved the national budget on second and third reading on the same day after the President certified it as an urgent measure.
But the present leadership of the 18th Congress is now the record holder in terms of the earliest date, September 20, that the national budget was approved on third and final reading following the certification issued by the President.
Records from the House committee on rules, chaired by Romualdez, showed the 16th Congress approved the 2016 national budget on second and third reading on October 9, 2015 after it was certified urgent by then President Benigno Aquino III.
During the 13th Congress, the 2007 national budget was approved on second and third reading on October 13, 2006 after it was certified as urgent measure by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“The swift and transparent passage of the national budget that underwent scrutiny, both by administration and opposition lawmakers, is a product of our commitment to further the economic growth of the Duterte administration,” said Romualdez.
Deputy Speaker and 1PACMAN party-list Rep. Michael Romero, president of the 54-strong Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc., reiterated the full observation on the “no pork, no parking, no delay” policy laid down by the Cayetano leadership.
“Speaker Cayetano can rely on the PCFI, we have his back in guaranteeing that the no pork, no parking, no delay policy is observed,” said Romero.
“It has become imperative for us to make sure that each day of the coming year’s government operations is covered by the provisions of the 2020 General Appropriations Act,” said Romero.
Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, a vice chairman of the House committee on appropriations, said that the old pork barrel system is gone as he assured the public that there would be no new system in place that will replace or bring back the old fusty and stinking system.
Salceda, vice chairman of the House appropriations committee, who chairs the House committee on ways and means, also assured the public that the proposed 2020 national budget bill remains
free of any “pork” allocations and is bereft of any illegal parking of funds and insertions under the present leadership.
READ: Congress to pass proposed national budget for 2020READ: House vows pro-poor budgetREAD: House to pass 2020 national budget, says Romualdez
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