House delays okay of nat’l budget

THE House of Representatives delayed the approval of the proposed national budget on final reading before it goes on one-month break.

Both Minority Leader Danilo Suarez and  Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said there are so many amendments to the 2019 budget amounting to P3.757 trillion.

House Bill 8169 or the General Appropriations Bill was already passed on second reading.

Suarez said the small committee is still working on several amendments.

“Ang dami pang dapat baguhin. Ako lang ang dami kong proposed amendments na lahat kukunin sa Department of Transportation (DoTr),” Suarez said in a press conference.

Lagman, a member of the small committee, said they will instead resume the deliberation of budget after the Halloween break.

Session will resume on November 12.

House leaders said they intend to pass the budget on time to ensure there will be no re-enacted budget for next year.

As always, the education sector will get the lion’s share of the national budget. The total proposed funding for Department of Education (DepEd), state universities and colleges (SUCs), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) of P659.3 billion marks a 12.3 percent or P72.2 billion growth over their 2018 budget of P587.1 billion.

Of the proposed appropriations of P659.3 billion for the education sector, P528.8 billion will be allocated to DepEd; P65.2 billion will go to SUCs;  P50.5 billion to CHED; and P14.8 billion to TESDA.

The DPWH will receive the second highest allocation with P555.7 billion, which represents an increase of 25.8 percent or P113.9 billion compared to its P441.8 billion budget in 2018.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will receive the third largest appropriation in 2019 with P225.6 billion. This is 30.9 percent or P53.2 billion than its 2018 funding of P172.4 billion.

The other top recipients shall be the  Department of National Defense (DND), P183.4 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P173.3 billion; Department of Health (DOH), P141.2 billion, which includes P67.4 billion for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC); Department of Transportation (DOTr), P141.4 billion; Department of Agriculture (DA), P76.1 billion; the Judiciary with P37.3 billion; and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), P32.3 billion.