P5.268-T GAB certified as urgent amid House plenary debates

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has certified the P5.268-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 2023 as an urgent piece of legislation.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (2nd from left) and President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (3rd from left) (Ryan Pacpaco)

This was confirmed by the office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez on Monday night, Sept. 26 amid the ongoing plenary debates on the GAB.

Sent to House reporters was a copy of the Marcos’s message to Romualdez, which gave instructions on the certification of the GAB.

"Pursuant to the provisions of Article VI, Section 26 (2) of the 1987 Constitution, I hereby certify to the necessity of the immediate enactment of House Bill No.4488, :

'An Act appropriating funds for the operation of the government of the Republic of the Philippines from January one to December thirty-one, two thousand and twenty-three,'" the message read.

The certification is meant to "address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year, strengthen efforts to respond more effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic, and support initiatives national economic recovery".

A bill that's certified as urgent by Malacañang can be approved by solons on second reading and on third and final reading on the same day.

Normally, a measure that is passed on second reading needs to undergo a three-day wait period before it can be approved on third reading.

"We are right on track with our schedule. The certification from Malacañang will enable the House of Representatives to approve the 2023 GAB on second and third reading on the same day which we set on Wednesday," Romualdez said in a short statement after being delivered the letter by hand.

The Palace message was read on the plenary floor Monday night as additional reference of business. It was subsequently referred to the Committee on Rules.


The House is eyeing the third reading passage of the GAB before Oct. 1, or when the House and Senate go on a month-long recess.

Only the individual budgets of around 10 departments-slash-agencies remain untackled in the plenary debates.