Sotto: Senate eyes to pass 2022 budget by 1st, 2nd week of December | Inquirer News

Sotto: Senate eyes to pass 2022 budget by 1st, 2nd week of December

/ 01:37 PM September 02, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate is targeting to pass the proposed 2022 national budget by the first or second week of December, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday.

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Citing his previous meeting with House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Sotto said the lower chamber is set to transmit its approved version of the 2022 budget to the Senate by October 1.

From here, Sotto said the Senate committee of finance will tackle the budget even during the scheduled Congress break as candidates file their certificate of candidacy for the 2022 elections.

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“The timetable would be hopefully by November, we will be able to report it out on the [Senate] floor for plenary and varying unforeseen circumstances, by the first or second week of December, we might be able to finish it,” Sotto said in an interview with INQside Look.

“Then and hopefully before the Christmas break, [we can finish] pati na yung ratification of any bicameral reports,” he added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, said the Senate will hold hearings on the “general principles” of the budget starting September 8, but the specifics of the national budget will not be covered by the discussions.

“We don’t have to wait for the House to transmit to the Senate ‘yung House version, ‘yung General Appropriations Bill. That said, September 8, may schedule na kami doon sa tinatawag na general principles so sasabayan na namin sila sa committee hearings but we cannot tackle the measure on the floor unless the House transmits their version to the Senate,” Lacson said.

“Kung hihintayin pa namin yung ma-transmit sa October or even baka abutin ng November, magagahol kami sa oras so as a matter of practice, ang ginagawa namin, sumasabay na kami ng committee hearings and we are not violating anything,” he added.

Deliberations on the proposed national budget are currently ongoing in the House committee on appropriations. Once approved by the committee, another series of discussions will take place in the House plenary before it can be approved and transmitted to the Senate.

/MUF
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