MANILA -- The House of Representatives has started its plenary deliberation on the passage of the General Appropriations Act of 2011.

The executive, through the budget department, submitted a P1.645-trillion budget to Congress, P933.5 billion of which for new appropriations and another P711.5 billion in automatic appropriations.

"We will support the passage of the fiscal responsibility bill. With this bill, our country's debt will be reduced to sustainable levels," Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya, chair of the House appropriations committee, said in his sponsorship speech Monday.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte earlier said that he hopes for an early approval of the 2011 budget. The House is set to approve the budget on second reading before it goes on recess on October 15. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)