House assures Senate on national budget

November 23, 2018
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

THE leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has assured the Senate that it will respect the Upper Chamber’s timetable on the passage of the proposed 2019 P3.757-trillion national budget, said House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr.

Andaya, who chairs the House Committee on Rules, made the statement after Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri aired the possibility that the Duterte administration may operate on a reenacted budget in the first few weeks of next year due to the lack of time to deliberate the National Expenditure Program (NEP).

“We will respect the Senate’s timetable on when they will pass the budget. Like any measure, the Senate reviews, and in the process rejects or accepts, the improvements and amendments we have made on the national budget,” Andaya told reporters.

“In the event there will be a slight delay in the enactment of the General Appropriations Bill for 2019, we are confident that the established rules on the use of the reenacted budget during the short, interim period will apply without affecting the operations of the government, nor curb the delivery of services to the people, or radically setback the timetable of public projects,” said Andaya.

Voting 196 against eight with no abstention, the House of Representatives last Tuesday approved on third and final reading the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB), which the leadership described as a constitutionally compliant line budgeting system to ensure a pork-free NEP.