If needed, Palace to call for Congress special session to pass 2021 budget

/ 02:29 PM October 08, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — If lawmakers are unable to pass the 2021 national budget by mid-December, Malacañang may call for a special session to ensure the passage of the proposed P4.5-trillion budget and avoid operating on a reenacted budget amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Kung kinakailangan po talaga, meron naman pong Dec. 14 na adjournment for Christmas ang Kongreso. Kung kinakailangan after Dec. 14, doon po magpapatawag ng special session. Wala naman pong prejudice ‘yan,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing Thursday.


The House leadership had earlier vowed to pass the General Appropriations Bill (House Bill No. 7727 ), which contains the proposed national budget for 2021 by October 14, two days before it was supposed to go on a month-long recess based on the legislative calendar of the 18th Congress.

But on Tuesday, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies moved to suspend the House session until Nov. 16 after the unexpected second reading approval of the GAB.


With the lower chamber suspending its session until Nov. 16 and the spending bill approved only on second reading, the budget bill will not reach the Senate before it goes on break on Oct. 17.

But Roque argued that there would be enough time for the Senate to pass the 2021 GAB even after the House deferred its 3rd and final reading of the critical legislation amid a power struggle between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

Under the term-sharing deal brokered by President Duterte last year, Cayetano will serve as House Speaker for 15 months before Velasco replaces him and lead Congress for 21 months. Velasco was supposed to take over as speaker by Oct. 14.


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: 2021 budget, Congress, COVID-19, House drama, Malacañang, Philippines, Senate, special session
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.