MANILA

Palace thanks House for 2021 national budget approval

MANILA. New house speaker Lord Allan Velasco speaks during his first day at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, Philippines on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. (AP)

MALACAÑANG welcomed Saturday, October 17, the House of Representatives' approval of the P4.506-trillion budget for 2021.

The House approved on final reading the House Bill 7727, or the General Appropriations Bill, on Friday, October 16, after four days of marathon plenary sessions. A total of 257 lawmakers voted yes, while six voted no to the budget's approval. No one abstained.

"We thank the House of Representatives for passing on third and final reading the 2021 General Appropriations Bill on time or within the special session called by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Saturday.

He added that Duterte has in many occasions articulated the importance of the timely passage of the budget, "given that we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic where we need resources to fund government interventions to mitigate the adverse effects of the virus."

Roque said the Palace is hoping that the House of Representatives would transmit the printed or soft copy of the bill to the Senate as soon as possible.

He said it would give the Senate ample time to act on the measure, which Duterte certified as urgent.

The House committee on appropriations said Friday that the bill will be submitted to the Senate on October 28.

Once submitted, the Senate will conduct plenary debates on the government’s proposed spending plan for 2021. Included in the budget are allocations for Covid-19 response and economic recovery programs. (LMY/SunStar Philippines)


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