House aiming for balance during plenary debates on 2024 budget – Co
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will aim to achieve a balance among stakeholders during the plenary debates on the proposed 2024 national budget, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co said in a statement on Monday.
“The objective is to create an open platform for balanced discussions, allowing all stakeholders to voice their opinions. In doing so, we aim to ensure that the final budget genuinely reflects the collective will and aspirations of our nation,” Co, who chairs the appropriations committee, said.
“Transparency is more than a mere term; it is a fundamental commitment. The public has the right to know how their resources are being allocated, and it is our duty to provide that information,” he added.
The plenary discussions on House Bill No. 8980, which contains the General Appropriations Bill (GAB), would start on Tuesday at 9 a.m., according to the schedule given by the House and Co’s committee.
After Co sponsors the bill, debates on the general provisions of the budget would follow.
The order of discussion on the proposed budgets per government agency will proceed as follows:
- Department of Finance and its attached agencies
- National Economic and Development Authority
- Department of Tourism
- Anti-Red Tape Authority
- Mindanao Development Authority
- Film Development Council of the Philippines
Co said the House would also aim to craft a budget that would address the short-term to long-term goals of the government.
“Our overarching aim is to formulate a budget that serves both the immediate needs and long-term ambitions of our nation,” he said. “This budget will serve as a cornerstone for sustainable development, inclusive growth, and robust public services.”
Per-agency hearings at the committee level ended last Sept. 12, while the General Appropriations Bill was approved by the appropriations panel on Sept. 14.
However, the committee will still hold pre-plenary hearings on several agencies and offices, like the state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Central Luzon along with the University of the Philippines System on Wednesday.
On the same day, another subcommittee of the panel will tackle the proposed 2024 budget of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
“We stand steadfast in fulfilling our responsibilities to our constituents and to the nation. The Filipino people can look forward to comprehensive, transparent, and focused discussions as we work to finalize the 2024 national budget,” Co said.