Bill extending availability of 2020 budget to Dec 2021 okayed by House on 2nd reading
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a proposed measure that would extend the availability of the 2020 national budget until December next year.
Through voice voting, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 6656, which amends Republic Act No. 11465 or the General Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2020.
Under the measure, appropriations from the 2020 national budget shall be available for release and disbursement until December 31, 2021. The 2020 budget was supposed to expire by the end of this year.
On Wednesday morning, Senate finance committee chair Sonny Angara and House appropriations chair Eric Yap both expressed intentions to extend the effectivity of the 2020 national budget to help cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the recent typhoons that ravaged the country.
This comes after the bicameral conference committee adopted and approved the final version of the proposed national budget for 2021, which is seen to steer the country’s pandemic and calamity response and recovery efforts.
“What we are going to work on once we approve the budget is the extension of Bayanihan 2 and the 2020 [General Appropriations Act] because under the 2020 GAA, a lot of the projects were delayed because of the lockdown, the quarantine,” Angara told reporters.
“There’s additional time needed… The last day of the year, December 31, mare-revert ‘yun sa Treasury kung hindi namin i-extend ‘yung effectivity of the 2020 budget,” the senator added.
(There’s additional time needed… The budget expires on the last day of the year, December 31, so if we do not extend the effectivity of the 2020 budget, it will be reverted to the Treasury.)
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