Bicam OK, ratification of 2020 budget moved to Dec. 11 | Inquirer News
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Bicam approval, ratification of 2020 budget moved to Wednesday, Dec. 11

/ 05:56 PM December 09, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The approval by the Senate-House contingents of the committee report on the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget, as well as its consequent ratification, has been moved to Wednesday, December 11.

House appropriations chair and Davao 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab confirmed this on Monday, adding that the staff of the chambers are “still finalizing some details” on the spending bill.

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Both chambers of Congress originally targetted that the last bicameral conference committee meeting on the expenditure plan would happen on Monday, December 9. It was then moved to Tuesday, and finally to Wednesday.

READ: Congress eyes 2020 budget ratification by next week, bicam meetings on despite Tisoy

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Once bicam members sign the committee report on the reconciled 2020 national budget, the House and Senate would ratify such in their respective chambers.

“Hopefully, ratification by both Houses after approval if committee report,” Ungab told INQUIRER.net.

After the ratification, Congress will forward the final version of next year’s spending bill to President Rodrigo Duterte by December 21, House ways and means panel chair and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said also on Monday.

‘5-10% unreconciled portion can be the killer’

In a Facebook live early Monday, Speaker Alan Cayetano echoed Senate finance committee chair Sen. Sonny Angara’s statement that the 2020 budget was “90 to 95 percent” reconciled. But he said the remaining details that have to be reconciled could be “the killer”. He did not provide further details.

“Unfortunately ‘yung 10% to 5% can be the killer, so nandito pa lahat sila lang nagtatrabaho kaya dinalaw ko sila dito… (so they’re still here working and I visited them…),” Cayetano said.

“So anyway, like to assure everyone na si Sen. Sonny Angara at ang counterpart na si Sid Ungab, kami dito po sa Kongreso ay nagdodobol time, triple time para hindi ma-late ang budget this year,” he continued.

(So anyway, I’d like to assure everyone that Sen. Sonny Angara and his counterpart, Cong. Sid Ungab, all of here in Congress are working double time, triple time so the budget would not be delayed this year.)

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Duterte should approve the General Appropriations Bill by December 31 to do away with a reenacted budget. Congress’ passage of 2019’s P3.8 trillion national budget was delayed due to bickering among legislators about alleged illegal pork barrel and insertions.

This led to the slow growth of the country’s gross domestic product, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

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TAGS: 2020 national budget, Alan Cayetano‎, bicameral conference committee, Congress, House, Isidro Ungab, Ratification, Rodrigo Duterte, Senate, Timeline
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