^

Headlines

Senate session to tackle 2001 budget

-
Sen. John Osmeña gave assurances yesterday that the Senate would be able to tackle the proposed 2001 budget when the special session of Congress starts on Jan. 8.

Osmeña, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, said his panel would devote all mornings starting Jan. 2 to the finalization of a committee report.

Afternoons in the Senate are devoted to the impeachment trial of President Estrada.

"We could finish the committee report by Jan. 6, and then start the sponsorship of the budget on Jan. 8," Osmeña said.

President Estrada called a special session of Congress from Jan. 8 to 12 to consider the budget and the proposed Omnibus Power Reform Law. The 2000 budget is automatically appropriated pending the passage of the new general appropriations act.

The House approved the P715-billion budget for 2001 only last Dec. 19. The controversy on the passage of the Articles of Impeachment led to the replacement of many vice chairmen of the House committee on appropriations, and to the consequent delay in the passage of the budget.

The budget approved by the House was P10 billion less than that proposed by Malacanang.

Osmena said he might propose even bigger cuts, as he vowed to give a thorough attention to revenue targets. Last year, he expressed doubts that the P62.5-billion budget deficit targeted by the budget and finance departments could be achieved. He said the budget should be cut by at least P30 billion as he predicted that the actual budget deficit would reach more than P90 billion.

Osmena, however, relented when the two departments gave assurances that P30 billion could be generated from the privatization of the Philippine National Bank and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

As of November, the budget deficit has already reached P110 billion, almost double the targeted budget. There are indications that the deficit would reach P115 billion by year-end.

Meanwhile, Osmena rejected yesterday proposals to approve a supplemental budget for the Commission Elections. He said that the Comelec budget should be an integral part of the 2001 budget.

The House proposed the supplemental budget to assure funding of the May 2001 elections. Osmena said that legislators might no longer be very interested in passing the 2001 budget if it does not include the funding for the May elections. — Efren Danao

ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT

AS OF NOVEMBER

BILLION

BUDGET

COMMISSION ELECTIONS

EFREN DANAO

JAN

JOHN OSME

OMNIBUS POWER REFORM LAW

OSMENA

PRESIDENT ESTRADA

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with