Legarda eyes Senate ratification of 2019 budget by Feb. 6
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Loren Legarda is eyeing the Senate ratification of the proposed P3.7 trillion national budget by February 6.
The target date is also the last day of the session of Congress before it adjourns.
“On January 28, Monday at 10 a.m., we will resume the bicameral conference of the budget and the House has committed to finish it on and before January 30 for a Senate ratification of February 6,” Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, told reporters on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, contingents from the Senate, led by Legarda, and from the House of Representatives met for the first time in a conference to reconcile their versions of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
But the bicameral conference meeting was suspended to give the House panel time to review the Senate’s amendments to the budget bill.
“And hopefully by Monday, we will iron out the differences and come up with an agreement or a compromise on both houses’ amendments,” Legarda said.
The House version of the GAB contained a P75 billion “adjustment” in the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar earlier said he was not aware of the additional P75 billion until he saw the National Expenditure Program (NEP) or Malacanang’s budget proposal which was submitted to Congress.
The Senate reduced the DPWH’s budget when it approved the budget bill last Monday. /ee
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