Cayetano to Senate: Finish 2020 budget bill by end of November
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is appealing to Senate to pass the bill for the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 budget by the end of November.
This is to enable both chambers of Congress to start the bicameral conference committee on the 2020 budget by the first week of December and have the budget bill signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before the year ends.
Cayetano made the appeal particularly to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senate finance committee chair Sonny Angara.
“Sinasagad po kasi natin usually at magpa-Pasko na or after Christmas na pipirmahan, the earlier po ‘to ma-sign, the earlier makapagplano ang mga local government units natin, mga private sector natin makikita kung ano ang plano, better for the country,” Cayetano said in an interview over dzMM.
(Usually, the budget bill is usually signed around Christmas time. But the earlier it is signed, the earlier our local governments can start their planning, the private sector can also scrutinize the plans and overall it’s better for the country.)
The House leader added that the earlier the Senate passes the budget bill, there will be “more transparency” as there will be more time to scrutinize it during the bicameral conference committee.
“Pasa natin end of this month, kung may problema, you have another one to two weeks, kung walang problema then in three to four days, we can finish it,” Cayetano said.
(If they pass it the end of the month, if there’s a problem, you have another one or two weeks, if there’s none, then we can finish it in three to four days).
Cayetano surmised that there is about P50 billion to P100 billion worth of funds that would be realigned during the bicameral conference committee.
“I really doubt it’ll (Senate version) be very similar (to House version) kasi I think, kung mga estimate ko, mga 50 to 100 billion, may lipatan pa ito ng pondo,” he said.
(I really doubt the Senate version will be similar to the House version of the budget bill because I estimate that there is about P50 to P100 billion in funds that will be realigned).
Cayetano said it is possible that there will be realignment of funds to the budgets of the Commission on Higher Education, the Department of Education, and other agencies, to fill in their budgetary needs. /muf
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