House keen to pass budget bill in October-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
HOUSE Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Wednesday that there is nothing controversial in the proposed 2013 national budget that can cause delay in its approval in Congress.
"I don't see anything controversial. Anyway, everybody was given a chance to submit amendments," he said in an interview.
A small panel led by House committee on appropriations chairman Joseph Emilio Abaya was formed during the approval of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) in second reading last October 8 to resolve the individual amendments.
Abaya, also the incoming Transportation and Communications secretary, will be joined by Representatives Jocelyn Limkaichong, Rolando Andaya Jr., Janet Garin, and Danilo Suarez in the committee.
Members of the House of Representatives were given until September 25 to submit their individual amendments.
"The amendments are already being considered by the special group. The target date to pass the budget is on October 15 or earlier," Belmonte said.
After the third reading approval of the GAB, the House of Representatives will sit with the Senate in a bicameral conference committee to reconcile conflicting provisions.
Once the bicameral report is ratified in both chambers, the budget proposal will be sent to President Benigno Aquino III for his signature.
For 2013, the Budget department is proposing a P2.006-trillion national budget, the bulk of which will go to the Department of Education with P292.7 billion.
Several lawmakers earlier questioned a lump sum fund in the budget called Priority Social and Economic Projects Fund that has an appropriation of P22.4 billion.
"How can the members of the House of Representatives faithfully perform their duty if they are persuaded to approve budgetary allotments without details and are unable to monitor actual utilization of such allotments?" Deputy Minority Suarez said.
A detailed budget allocation will be provided by the Department of Budget and Management through errata, Abaya said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)