House approves P3.35-T national budget | Inquirer News

House approves P3.35-T national budget

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 04:14 AM October 20, 2016

The House of Representatives yesterday approved the 2017 national “budget for real change” of the Duterte administration amounting to P3.35 trillion.

There was hardly any opposition to the budget’s approval, except for a point raised by opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman. The final voting on third and final reading was 243-5-1.

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Lagman, the lone abstention, clarified that he was not against passage of the national budget.

But he expressed “grave reservation” that President Duterte’s Oct.-11 letter certifying as urgent the passage of House Bill No. 3408, or the 2017 General Appropriations Act, failed to comply with the conditions set by the Constitution.

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 Constitution cited

Lagman said that Section 26, Article VI of the Constitution states that “no bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form had been distributed to its members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity and emergency.”

The President’s letter to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez III failed to mention any public calamity or emergency.

Mr. Duterte said the immediate enactment of the 2017 national budget was needed to “maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year, to expedite the funding of various programs, projects, and activities for (FY) 2017, and to ensure budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its Constitutional mandate.”

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TAGS: Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, House of Representatives, Rodrigo Duterte
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