By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has called on lawmakers to avoid “prolonged partisan discussion and undue delay” in the approval of the proposed 2020 national budget.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the appeal to the bicameral conference committee after lauding the Senate for passing its budget version on the third and final reading.
“The Executive Branch hopes that the Bicameral Conference Committee of the Legislature would be able to arrive at a considered decision in reconciling the conflicting provisions found in the two versions of its respective houses without prolonged partisan discussion and undue delay,” he said.
The Senate has unanimously passed the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for next year on third and final reading. The House of Representatives approved its version of the budget last September.
Representatives from the two houses of Congress are expected to convene a bicameral conference committee that will thresh out any differences in the two versions.
Panelo said the Office of the President welcomes the latest development on the budget approval in the Senate, citing the importance of a new budget for next year.
He said the 2020 national budget “aims to fund programs and projects that will help accelerate investments in public infrastructure, improve anti-poverty measures, and intensify employment generation.”
Once the budget reaches President Rodrigo Duterte’s desk, Panelo said the proposal will undergo thorough scrutiny.
“The public is assured that the President will carefully scrutinize whatever appropriations bill that will be transmitted to his office by Congress to ensure that the same would be in accordance with the imperatives of the Constitution and responsive to the needs of the Filipino people before it becomes a law,” he said.
The approval of this year’s national budget was earlier delayed over the standoff between the House of Representatives and the Senate over last-minute budget insertions.