Malacañang hailed the House of Representatives’ approval on the third and final reading of the proposed P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget, saying it will go a long way in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar made the statement after the House of Representatives was able to deliver on its promise to pass the budget on Oct. 16 despite the leadership row.
In a statement, Roque thanked the House for doing its part in passing the budget but hoped they will be able to transmit the printed copy to the Senate soon.
“We thank the House of Representatives for passing on third and final reading the 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on time or within the special session called by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he said.
“We hope the House of Representatives would transmit its printed copy to the Senate as soon as possible so that the Upper Chamber would be given ample time to act on this legislative measure, which has been certified urgent by the President,” he added.
President Duterte called on Congress to a special session to enable them to resume deliberations on the budget after the House of Representatives suspended their session early this month.
According to Roque, Duterte has, on many occasions, articulated the importance of the timely passage of the budget, especially during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic where resources are needed to fund government interventions to mitigate the adverse effects of the virus.
Andanar lauded the House of Representatives for meeting the deadline, saying the 2021 budget will go a long way in the government’s COVID-19 response efforts.
“We laud the House of Representatives, under the leadership of House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco, for the approval of the P4.506-trillion 2021 GAB on its third and final reading,” he said.
“As the 2021 GAB progresses to the Senate for its deliberation, the House of Representatives’ approval of the bill will go a long way in helping support and realize the Duterte administration’s outlined undertakings, responses, and programs for our collective recovery from the adverse impacts of COVID-19,” he added.
Andanar hoped that the Senate will be able to pass the proposed budget swiftly.
“We hope that the Senate’s deliberation on the 2021 GAB will be swift and efficient, in order for us to be on track towards fulfilling our mandate to the Filipinos and our goal of healing, rebounding, and recovering as one nation,” he said.