Senate, House hold bicam to reconcile conflicts in proposed 2018 national budget
Members of the Senate and House of Representatives convened on Thursday for a bicameral conference committee to reconcile the “disagreeing items” of the 2018 national budget from both chambers.
The lawmakers decided that the conference be held in an executive session. After a few minutes, the committee suspended the session.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said the committee decided to split the group in two small groups. This will be headed by Finance committee chairmen of Senate and House, Senator Loren Legarda and Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, respectively.
“There are a lot of disagreeing provisions ng House at Senate version. That’s what we will reconcile because that’s the essence of the bicameral committee,” Lacson said in a chance interview.
Nograles, meanwhile, said after he and Legarda iron out the disagreeing items, they will report back to their respective panels to ask clearance from them.
Among the points of contention in the budget was the proposed P50 billion to be allocated for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects, which was slashed in the Senate version due to right-of-way issues.
Once the committee finishes the report, the proposed budget will be sent back to the two chambers for ratification before transmitting it to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature. /jpv
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