The House of Representatives’ suspension of plenary deliberations on the P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021 until October 2, will not delay passage of the spending measure, House leaders said Thursday.
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, chairperson of the House Committee on Ways and Means,and vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations, said the immediate passage of House Bill No. 7727 or the P4.506-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) remains the Lower Chamber’s top priority.
“We can still hack it within deadline,” he said in a Viber message, after the House suspended the plenary budget deliberations until October 2 to provide leeway for the chamber to respond to legislators’ concerns about the funding allocations for various government programs.
Anakalusugan partylist Rep. Mike Defensor moved for the suspension of the plenary budget deliberations, citing the need for the chamber to put the budget in order and correct it.
Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairperson of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said the plenary debates on the 2021 national budget will resume tomorrow, October 2.
“It [suspension] is just a temporary delay to calm down the tension brought about by the Speakership issue.It will, however, not delay the passing of the budget because the House is willing to work until the wee hours of the morning,” he said in a text message.
“We started plenary debates already and was just suspended today but will resume again tomorrow.”
Muntinlupa lone District Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations, agreed with his colleagues the one-day suspension will not derail the passage of the national budget for next year.
“It is just one day delay but I think the House can catch up to the targeted schedule of approval,” he said.