House aims to pass 2020 national budget before October 5
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives aims to pass the proposed 2020 national budget on third and final reading before October 5 or before Congress goes on a break, House ways and means committee chair and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said Monday.
“Susubukan po ng House that before October 5 (The House aims to pass the national budget before October 5),” Salceda said in a short press briefing after attending a small group Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) meeting with House and Senate leaders in Malacañan Palace.
The economist said the budget would follow the modified cash-based system which was also applied in this year’s expenditure plan. The Department of Budget and Management will send the 2020 National Expenditure plan to the House by August, he added.
The lower chamber also aims to pass before the recess five priority economic bills spelled out by President Rodrigo Duterte during his fourth State of the Nation Address, according to Salceda.
These are bills seeking higher excise tax rates on alcohol, amending the Public Service Act, creating the Department of overseas Filipino workers, creating a Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities or Trabaho, and institutionalizing “Malasakit centers,” which is a pet bill of Sen. Bong Go.
“Hopefully ngayong August sana matapos na (Hopefully this August we could finish these bills),” Salceda said referring to the five priority bills.
House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez earlier said the committees may meet just once and immediately refer the bills for plenary deliberations.
Romualdez cited Section 48 of the House rules which provide that: “In case of bills or resolutions that are identified as priority measures of the House, which were previously filed in the immediately preceding Congress and have already been approved on 3rd reading, the same may be disposed of as matters already reported upon the approval of majority of the Members of the committee present, there being a quorum.” /je
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