“We should be able to pass the budget bill, under Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as speaker, before Congress takes its traditional break in late October,” Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said before the weekend.
Boy Santos
House leaders vow to pass 2020 budget in October
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - July 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Incoming leaders of the House of Representatives vowed yesterday to have the proposed P1.4-trillion national budget for 2020 approved in October.

“We should be able to pass the budget bill, under Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as speaker, before Congress takes its traditional break in late October,” Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said before the weekend.

Yesterday, Cayetano said he met with President Duterte’s son and newly elected Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte, whom he thanked for “our talk on what the country needs and how we can put together a very responsive Congress.”

In a Facebook post, Cayetano also praised Duterte for “accepting the challenge for being the next deputy speaker for political affairs.” Cayetano’s staff said the meeting was held at Bonifacio Global City and that it took more than an hour and a half. No other details were given.

Villafuerte, meanwhile, said it is the consensus of House members “to avoid the kind of protracted and acrimonious deliberations that led to the four-month delay in the passage of the 2019 General Appropriations Act.”

Early approval of the budget would also give the Senate enough time to pass its own version by December, allowing both chambers to come up with a common version for submission to President Duterte before yearend, he said.

This would not lead to a reenactment of the previous year’s spending law, as what happened this year, he added.

Villafuerte is a partymate of Cayetano in the Nacionalista Party. He was an appropriations committee vice chairman in the last Congress. He will most likely be nominated for the vice chairmanship or given another key position.

Enactment of the 2019 budget was delayed by wrangling over pork barrel insertions initially between then budget secretary Benjamin Diokno and House members, and later between congressmen and senators.

The budget reached the President’s desk in April. He signed it, but not after deleting more than P95 billion worth of last-minute pork barrel fund realignments made by House leaders.

The Senate recommended the deletion, which was supported by the Department of Budget and Management under acting Secretary Janet Abuel.

The administration’s economic managers blamed the lower-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter to the budget delay.

2020 NATIONAL BUDGET
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