Velasco promises ‘best effort’ to transmit House-approved budget to Senate by end of October
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco “promised” that the House of Representatives would try its best to transmit to the Senate the House-approved 2021 budget bill by the end of October, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday.
“I just talked to Speaker Velasco and I requested him to help facilitate the transmittal to us [on] 28th Oct[ober] at the most and that is 10 days after they pass it on [third] reading,” Sotto said in a message to reporters.
“He (Velasco) promised best effort,” he added.
Sotto’s call with Velasco comes shortly after the Senate president said he was informed that the House plans to submit to the Senate the General Appropriations Bill (GAB), which contains the proposed budget, only on Nov. 5 or over two weeks after its third reading approval in the lower chamber.
Several senators feared that some congressmen may add post-approval amendments to the spending bill and that the upper chamber would not have enough time to deliberate on it.
“If they (House) will pass on third reading tomorrow, I cannot understand why they would submit the GAB (General Appropriations Bill) to us on Nov. 5. Unless may plano na naman silang mag-amend [they have a plan to amend] after the third reading,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said.
“It’s not enough time. ‘Pag Nov. 5 pa makarating dito sa Senado [If it will reach the Senate on Nov. 5],” Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee, also said.
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