House leaders ‘sorted out’ issues over 2020 budget bill
MANILA, Philippines — Leaders of the House of Representatives met and “sorted out” issues hounding the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Monday afternoon.
“The House leadership, in a meeting today, sorted out all issues as to the procedure and goals for the 2020 budget,” the Taguig-Pateros representative said in a statement, assuring that the chamber would be on time and transparent in scrutinizing the 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
“Pork and parking have no place in the 2020 budget,” he added. “The House will ensure the passage of a national budget that is constitutional, legal, transparent and accountable.”
Cayetano said he had requested all departments and agencies to submit written presentations of their respective budget proposals before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3. After this, the rules committee will refer the 2020 GAB to the Committee on Appropriations for its consideration, he added.
As originally scheduled, the House committed itself to approving the 2020 GAB on final reading by Oct. 3, before Congress goes on recess.
The meeting was presided by the Speaker and attended by House leaders and vice chairpersons of the appropriations committee, which is chaired by Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab.
The “threshing out of misunderstandings and confusion” came after Ungab opposed the withdrawal of the GAB from the House plenary by Deputy Speaker for Finance and Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. Ungab said the withdrawal was aimed at making illegal insertions and changing the GAB.
Villafuerte denied this, saying that his move last Aug. 28 was just a “procedural matter” as the presentations of the budget proposals of all government offices before the House appropriations committee have yet to be completed at the time of HB 4228’s filing on first reading.
Ungab also said the withdrawal of the GAB would delay the timely passage of the budget, which Cayetano and Villafuerte dismissed.
Both Ungab and Villafuerte attended the meeting.
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