The Senate terminated early Saturday the period of interpellations for the P4.506-trillion proposed 2021 national budget.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said they aim to approve their version of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on second and third reading not later than Tuesday, November 24.
Senators adjourned their hybrid session past 12 midnight after wrapping up their debates on the proposed allocations of government agencies under House Bill No. 7727 or the GAB.
“We thank the leadership of the chamber, the Senate President, Senate President Pro-Temp, the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader and vice chairpersons of the Senate finance committee and all the senators for sticking to the timetable despite the late hours,” said Senator Sonny Angara, Senate finance committee chairman.
After the period of interpellations, committee and individual amendments will follow next week. Angara reminded his colleagues to submit their proposed amendments to the budget bill by Sunday evening to enable swift approval of the proposed budget.
President Duterte last month certified as urgent the proposed 2021 national budget to avoid delays in its approval. Congress leaders also assured the timely passage of the appropriations bill.
Carrying the theme, “Reset, Rebound, Recover”, the 2021 budget was expected to sustain and strengthen the country’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.