Senate to start plenary debates on budget bill on Monday, Nov. 11 | Inquirer News

Senate to start plenary debates on budget bill on Monday, Nov. 11

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 02:00 PM November 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate is set to start plenary deliberations on the bill for the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 on Monday, Nov. 11, Senator Sonny Angara said Sunday.

Angara, who chairs the Senate finance committee, said he will sponsor the committee report on Monday on the plenary floor.

He also assured that the Senate is “on track” to pass the budget bill, or the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) based on the timetable that would have it on the desk of the President by December.


The senator highlighted the importance of passing the 2020 budget bill on time to avoid a repeat of last year where the government had to implement a reenacted budget for four months.


He pointed out that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was slower in the first half of the year, and construction and repairs of classrooms, as well as tuition fees of government scholars, were delayed.

“So critical is the GAA in fact that because we failed to pass it on time during the previous budget cycle, the country paid a price,” Angara said in a statement.

“Indeed, it would have helped many Filipinos in their struggle against poverty if the government’s poverty reduction efforts weren’t derailed,” he added.

The senator said he believes that members of the Senate as well as the House of Representatives are aware of the “pitfalls” of a reenacted budget and “will work together to pass the GAB within the year.”

Budget allocations

The Senate finance committee chairman assured that the education sector will get the biggest chunk of allocations under the 2020 national budget.


He said that the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will be given the “necessary budget support” to ensure that students’ needs are met.

The health sector will also be prioritized, especially as the government has committed to provide Filipinos free health insurance coverage under the Universal Health Care Act, Angara added.

Moreover, the Congress will also ensure that programs improving and expanding existing modes of public transport are covered by the necessary funding. However, he said that “work must be done continuously because any delays would be a disservice to the Filipino people.”

“Napapaloob sa panukalang ito ang mga prayoridad, pinahahalagahan at pangarap natin bilang mga Pilipino,” Angara said.

(Contained in the budget bill are the priorities and goals of the Filipino people.)

“Kaya nararapat lamang na suriin at pag-usapan natin ito nang masinsinan. Nararapat lamang na siguraduhin natin na Malaya ito sa anumang katiwalian. Nararapat lamang na sa darating na araw, ‘wag nating kalimutan na sa dokumentong ito naka-angkla ang kaunlaran at kasaganaa ng ating bayan,” he added.

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(It is important that this is scrutinized and discussed upon thoroughly. It must be ensured that it is free of any corruption. It is also important that in the coming days, we will not forget that this document is anchored on the country’s progress). /je

TAGS: 2020 budget, budget bill, GAB, Nov. 11, Senate

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