House approves P3.8-T budget for 2018 on second reading
Published: 7:21 p.m., Sept. 12, 2017 | Updated 9:48 p.m., Sept. 12, 2017
The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on second reading the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget in 2018.
During session on Tuesday night, Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas moved for the termination of the plenary debates and period of amendment and moved for the creation of the small committee to tackle the individual amendments to be submitted by members of the House.
“All members will submit their individual amendments to the small committee not later than Friday,” Fariñas said.
The House then approved by viva voce the national budget bill (House Bill 6215), which President Rodrigo Duterte had certified as urgent.
Earlier, Fariñas earlier said the bill would first be printed to reflect the individual amendments before being approved on third and final reading.
A bill that gets the President’s certification may be passed on second and third reading on the same session day.
In a statement, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, House appropriations committee chair, welcomed the passage on second reading of the bill, lauding the House for braving the inclement weather caused by Tropical Depression “Maring” just to approve the budget.
“Nearby government offices suspended work, but we in the House of Representatives know that our foremost duty is to pass the national budget. And we did so on second reading,” Nograles said.
He said the House was eyeing to approve the budget on third and final reading on Sept. 21.
The proposed 2018 General Appropriations Act is up 12.4 percent from the current budget of P3.35 trillion.
The highest allocation of the budget would go to education as mandated in the Constitution, covering the Department of Education and state universities and colleges.
The Department of Public Works and Highways will get the second biggest share of the pie, in support of the administration’s ambitious P3.6 trillion three-year rolling infrastructure program.