Co, Quimbo to House members: Help us craft best budget bill for 2024
MANILA, Philippines — Two senior officials of House committee on appropriations are asking their colleagues to help them develop the best version of the P5.7 trillion proposed national budget for next year.
In their sponsorship speeches for the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on Tuesday, committee chairperson Ako Bicol Representative Elizaldy Co and senior vice chairperson and Marikina 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo highlighted the significance of the budget bill.
“The [GAB] is the cornerstone of our nation’s fiscal management. It determines how public funds will be allocated to address the needs and aspirations of our citizens,” Co said.
“Thus, the timely passage of this measure is not just an obligation, but our solemn responsibility,” he stressed.
“In this spirit, I urge every member of this august body to take proactive steps and join members of the Committee on Appropriations in coming up with a collective decision and recommendation to approve House Bill Number 8980, the Fiscal Year 2024 General Appropriations Bill,” he added.
Meanwhile, Quimbo urged lawmakers always to put the country’s welfare first.
“As members of Congress, endowed with the power of the purse, our undertaking for the next two weeks is of utmost importance. The choices we make today will resonate through generations, shaping the Philippines of tomorrow,” Quimbo said.
“Let us not merely approve a budget. Let us craft a legacy,” she emphasized.
House started the plenary debates on the proposed budget early Tuesday morning.
The measure is expected to be approved on third reading by September 27.
Despite the optimism from the two appropriations panel leaders, both also said the bill is being presented amid turbulent times.
Quimbo noted the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate was slower in the second quarter of 2023.
She also said the government will be on deficit spending next year, as revenues are insufficient to bankroll the budget.