THE Senate and House of Representatives will meet starting next week to reconcile the provisions of the 2021 General Appropriations Bill, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said Thursday, November 26, 2020.
Velasco welcomed the approval earlier Thursday of the Senate version of the bill on the proposed P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021.
“We now look forward to sitting with our Senate counterparts in conference possibly starting next week to come up with a common version of the budget,” Velasco said in a statement.
“We have already formed a contingent composed of 21 members from various political parties to represent the House during the bicameral conference on the 2021 budget bill,” he added.
Velasco said the House will ensure that there will be enough funds for the government’s Covid-19 response, especially for the procurement of vaccines for an initial 20 million poor Filipinos and eventually for at least 60 million of the population.
The House will also push for sufficient funding for the rehabilitation and recovery of communities devastated by recent typhoons.
“Let us also not forget President Duterte’s other priority programs like Build, Build, Build and his anti-poverty projects. We must appropriate the funds needed to sustain them,” Velasco said.
The Senate version amended the approved House Bill 7727 to provide additional funds to strengthen the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response and disaster management efforts as well as expedite economic recovery. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)