SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has authorized the members of the House of Representatives to conduct marathon plenary hearings on the proposed 2019 national budget amounting to P3.757 trillion.
As this developed, some Makabayan bloc members asked for the deferment of the approval of the budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) due to the absence of controversial Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson.
Speaking to reporters after attending a hearing, Arroyo said they intend to finish the budget deliberations before the session break beginning October 12.
For the past few days, the session had run until the wee hours of the morning. Two days ago, the session was adjourned at 2:50 a.m. Solons discussed the budget for more than 14 hours non-stop.
“Well it’s a decision to be able to comply with our legislative calendar that we have set together,” Arroyo said.
“We wanted to pass the budget bill before we go off on recess so we can pass it to the Senate and they can finish it on time for signing before the end of the year,” she added.
According to Arroyo, it is normal for the lawmakers and officials of every department to work overtime during budget season.
“I don’t find it strange because when I was Undersecretary of Trade, we also used to stay until 2 o’clock in the morning waiting for our turn. And when I was a senator, we also used to do our budget sessions until very, very late,” she told reporters covering the House.