Palace eyes passage of 2021 national budget before year-end
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is hoping that the 2021 national budget will be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before the end of the year after he called on Congress to hold a special session and ensure the budget’s passage.
“Sana po bago mag-recess ang Kongreso ano? Or pagka-recess nila ay at least tapos na para bago mag bagong taon mapirmahan na ni Presidente,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in an interview over DZBB on Saturday.
(We hope that before Congress, or even when Congress is already on recess, the budget is already ready so that the President can sign it before the new year.)
This comes a day after Duterte called for a special session on Congress to avoid delays in the passing of the proposed budget.
The special session is set on Oct. 13 to 16.
Previously Duterte threatened to take matters in his own hands and resolve the ruckus at the House of Representative as the speakership tussle between House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco is endangering the timely passage of the budget.
On Oct. 6, Cayetano and his allies suddenly moved to terminate sessions at the House until Nov. 16 after approving on second reading the proposed spending measure for 2021.
With the lower chamber suspending its session until Nov. 16 and, the budget bill approved only on second reading, the proposed 2021 national budget will not reach the Senate before it goes on break on Oct. 17.
Roque, meanwhile emphasized why the 2021 national budget is important.
“Alam ninyo parang band-aid lang iyong ginawa nating Bayanihan 1 at 2, ang kabuuang ng ating response talaga sa COVID-19, nandito po sa 2021 budget,” he said, referring to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act.
(Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2 are just band-aid solutions, and our overall COVID-19 response is in the 2021 budget.)
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.