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Mr. Marcos certifies budget bill as urgent, House okay by Friday

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified as urgent the proposed P5.268-trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2023.

In a letter to Speaker Martin G. Romualdez dated Sept. 26, 2022, Mr. Marcos cited “the necessity of the immediate enactment” of the money measure contained in House Bill 4488.

This, the President wrote, is “in order to address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year, strengthen efforts to respond more effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic, and support initiatives towards national economic recovery.”

In response, Speaker Romualdez said: “We are right on track with our schedule. The certification from Malacañang will enable the House of Representatives to approve the 2023 GAB on second and third reading on the same day which we set on Wednesday.”

House Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chair Manuel Jose Dalipe said the chamber is expected to have approved the budget bill on Friday, Sept. 30.

He said the House approved the budget of at least 80 percent of all government agencies and is only left with 10 agencies before wrapping up the floor debates and moving for the approval of HB 4488.

Dalipe said that utilizing the various teams that he created to manage the flow of deliberations in the plenary, the House has approved the budget of a total of 54 departments, attached agencies, and constitutional bodies, failing only to act on the budget of four agencies.

“The implementation of schedules and the flow of the plenary discussion has been executed flawlessly by our team of deputies in the Rules Committee and the Committee on Appropriations,” the solon from Zamboanga City said.

“I see longer and more heated discussions on the budget of some agencies this week but it is nothing we cannot handle. I’m confident we will terminate all debates by September 28 and approve the budget bill by September 30,” Dalipe said.

“ We will have fewer agencies to tackle on the floor so we can give our members more time to discuss their budget while expediting the budget approval of the other government offices. But certainly, their budget will be approved in time before our September 28 deadline,” Dalipe said.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri was furnished a copy of the certification of HB 4488.

 

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