House OKs proposed P5.268-T 2023 budget on 3rd reading | Inquirer News

House OKs proposed P5.268-T 2023 budget on 3rd reading

/ 08:21 PM September 28, 2022
House OKs 2023 national budget

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UPDATED MANILA, Philippines — The national government’s proposed P5.268 trillion budget for 2023 has been approved by the House of Representatives on the third and final reading, fulfilling its goal of passing the General Appropriations Bill before Congress goes on a recess.

During Wednesday’s session, 289 House members voted in favor of House Bill No. 4488, which contains appropriations for national government agencies in 2023.

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Three members voted against it, while no one abstained.

The House passed the proposed budget on the second and third readings on the same day as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. certified House Bill No. 4488 as urgent.

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Without the President’s certification, the House would have waited three more days before approving the measure on the third and final reading.

READ: President certifies as urgent bill for proposed 2023 national budget 

Before lawmakers voted on the bill, Majority Floor Leader and Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe moved to create a small committee to amend certain portions of the General Appropriations Bill, particularly those involving the individual amendments.

Hence, the proposed budget was approved subject to the revisions that the small committee will make.

“Mr. Speaker, consistent with parliamentary precedents, I move that we create a small committee to receive and resolve all individual amendments to House Bill No. 4488 — the fiscal year 2023 General Appropriations Bill,” Dalipe said.

The following House officials will form part of the small committee:

  • Appropriations chair and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co
  • Appropriations vice chair and Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo
  • Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe
  • Minority Floor Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan.

Before the national budget was approved, several lawmakers especially members of the minority scrutinized and aired grievances about the allocations, both during the committee-level deliberations and during the plenary debates.

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Lawmakers from the House’s Makabayan bloc and Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman urged members to stop its practice of servility to the offices of high ranking officials, like the Office of the President and Office of the Vice President (OVP), after the deliberations of the OVP at the Committee on appropriations were terminated in less than 10 minutes.

Makabayan solons also said they were not given the chance to interpellate the said offices’ heads, although committee on appropriations vice chairperson and Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo assured them that they can interpellate in the plenary debates.

READ: Makabayan solons: Quick end to session left us no time to study OVP budget 

READ: Quimbo: Respect House tradition; budget debates for OP, OVP to continue 

During the plenary debates, Lagman questioned the OVP budget sponsor about the confidential funds within the office.  Vice President Sara Duterte, through Davao de Oro 1st District Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora, eventually said that she is leaving the fate of the confidential funds to the House’s discretion.

READ: OVP budget sponsor: Sara Duterte defers to House decision on P500M confidential funds 

Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman also complained that Mindanao only has a small infrastructure budget in the proposed national budget despite it having several of the country’s poorest regions.

Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado and Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel also moved to restore the budget cuts experienced by state universities and colleges and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

READ: Hataman laments cut in Mindanao infrastructure budget for 2023 

READ: Bordado, Manuel want budget cuts to SUCs, CHED programs, restored 

Meanwhile, Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas also questioned the supposed lack of direct aid in the proposed 2023 budget, although Quimbo maintained that the whole budget has a lot of allocations for direct and indirect cash assistance.

READ: Brosas, Quimbo disagree on direct aid funding in 2023 budget 

Before the passage of the national budget bill, the House made it clear that it wanted to have an approved budget within September so that it could hand the Senate its copy of the General Appropriations Bill while Congress is in a recess, which starts by October.

READ: House still on track to approve proposed 2023 budget by October 

/MUF
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TAGS: 2023 national budget, Congress, House of Representatives
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