Senate approves P4.1-trillion budget; bill goes to bicam body

THE Senate, voting 22-0, approved the proposed P4.1-trillion proposed national budget for 2020.

The budget bill now goes to the bicameral conference committee, which Malacañang hoped would swiftly approved it.

The Senate approved the budget bill on third and final reading on Wednesday, November 27, right after it approved the proposal on second reading.

This may be done because the measure was certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The House of Representatives passed its version of the budget on September 20 yet.

Representatives from the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to meet anytime soon to thresh out differences in their respective versions of the budget bill.

“The Palace has been advised of the Senate's passage of the 2020 General Appropriations Bill or the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for next year, on third and final reading, to a man (22-0). The Office of the President welcomes this development,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

“The Executive Branch hopes that the Bicameral Conference Committee of the Legislature would be able to arrive at a considered decision in reconciling the conflicting provisions found in the two versions of its respective houses without prolonged partisan discussion and undue delay,” he added.

Panelo said the proposed budget plan for next year aims to fund programs and projects “that will help accelerate investments in public infrastructure, improve anti-poverty measures, and intensify employment generation.”

He also guaranteed that the measure would be thoroughly scrutinized by the President.

“The public is assured that the President will carefully scrutinize whatever appropriations bill that will be transmitted to his office by Congress to ensure that the same would be in accordance with the imperatives of the Constitution and responsive to the needs of the Filipino people before it becomes a law,” Panelo said. (NASE/SunStar Philippines)