Congress eyes 2020 budget ratification by next week, bicam meetings on despite Tisoy
MANILA, Philippines — Both chambers of Congress are hoping to ratify the proposed P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget by Monday, Dec. 9, with the bicameral conference committee meetings pushing through this week despite the inclement weather.
House appropriations committee chair and Davao 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab on Tuesday said the Senate and House contingents on the budget bill are “still working on” the possible ratification of the 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) by Monday.
“Hopefully ratified na (the budget would be ratified) by next week to give time for printing,” Ungab told INQUIRER.net.
The House leader also said his meeting with Senate finance committee chair, Sen. Sonny Angara, would push through on Tuesday despite the inclement weather brought by Typhoon Tisoy.
The House appropriations secretariat just finished studying on Monday the figures in the Senate-approved GAB, according to Ungab. These findings were then presented to the House bicameral conference committee panel composed of other congressmen. The Senate-House contingent first met last Nov. 29.
“Both chairmen (Ungab and Angara) will still have to go through the details and we still have to agree on the contentious figures,” the lawmaker from Davao said.
“Nevertheless, both panels agree on the need to pass and approve the national budget before the Christmas break,” he added.
In an interview last Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri expressed confidence that they could ratify next year’s expenditure plan by Dec. 10 or Dec. 11.
Both chambers could only ratify the spending bill once the bicameral conference committee reconciles and approves the final version. After the ratification, the GAB will then be forwarded to President Rodrigo Duterte who should approve the same by Dec. 31 to do away with a reenacted budget.
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