Solon warns House leadership vs passing rushed 2021 national budget

Published October 4, 2020, 5:23 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

PBA partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles warned Sunday (October 4) that losing  a day-and-a-half in the budget deliberations would result to “rushed”  national budget for 2021, which is not good for the country. 


“Kada oras na nawawala sa pagdiscuss ng budget ay talagang madedelay ang budget, ganun lang kasimple. Kung may isa at kalahating araw na nadelay ang budget, that means either mag overtime ng isa at kalahating araw o hindi natin maipasa ang budget on time. It is as simple as that,” he told the DZBB in an interview.

(Every hour lost in the  budget discussion,  would really delay the budget. If there is a day-and-a-half  delay in the budget deliberation, that means we will either have  an overtime for one day-and-a-half or the budget will not be passed on time. It is as simple as that.)

“So ngayon ang hinahabol, ini-oovertime na lang lahat dito. Sa pag-oovertime,..rush na rush ang budget at alam natin na pagrush ang budget, maraming issue yan,” he pointed out. 

(So now, we have to catch up, we will be working overtime. When you work overtime, the budget will be rushed and we know when the budget is rushed, many issues will crop up.)

Several House leaders earlier said the decision of the House of Representatives to suspend the plenary deliberations for the P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021 until October 2 will not in any way delay the passage of the spending measure.

Nograles reminded his colleagues that it is their duty to ensure the immediate passage of the national budget.

“’Yan ang isa sa mga primary duties ng congressman. Hindi primary duty ng congressman ang makinig sa isang kongresista na nagsasalita at sinasabi kung ano ang gusto nila sa kanilang buhay, kung papano nila icelebrate ang kanilang birthday,” he said, apparently taking a swipe at Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. 

(That is  one of the primary duties of the congressman. It is not the primary duty of the congressman to listen to one congressman talking about his plans, how he would like to celebrate his birthday.)

“Hindi naman ‘yan ang pinakaimportante ngayon, ang pinakaimportante  ay maipasa in good time and in timely fashion at maayos ang pagpasa ng ating national budget dahil marami nang tao ang naghihingalo ang mga guro, ang mga estudyante, mga waiter na nawalan ng restaurant, mga delivery people, at kung ano ano pa,” he added. 

(That’s not the pressing concern now, what is very important is to pass the national budget in good time and in timely fashion, properly because there are many people who are barely surviving, the teachers, students, the waiters who lost their restaurant, the delivery people, among others.)

On October 5, Monday, the spending proposals of the Office of the President, Presidential Management Staff, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Agriculture, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of National Defense, and National Irrigation Administration will be discussed. 

The October 6 plenary deliberations will zero in on the proposed appropriations of the Department of Justice, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Commission on Elections, according to the schedule.

On October 7, the House plenary will tackle the budgets of the Office of the Vice President, State universities and colleges, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Transportation and Commission on Audit. 

The proposed appropriations of the Department of Education, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Tourism, Commission on Human Rights, and Department of Finance will be discussed on October 8. 

By Friday (October 9), the House plenary is expected to discuss the respective spending proposals of the  Department of Public Works and Highways, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Civil Service Commission, Department of Health, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, National Security Council, and the Department of  Budget and Management.

On the same day, the Turno En Contra speeches on the GAB 2021 are expected and after that, the plenary will proceed to the period of amendments. 

The House leadership earlier expressed hope that the national budget for next year will be signed by President Duterte by “first week of December.”