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House OKs P5.26 trillion budget for 2023

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
House OKs P5.26 trillion budget for 2023
Two-hundred-eighty-nine lawmakers voted “yes,” three “no” and no one abstained during the voting.
Garreth Tungol / Office of ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo

MANILA, Philippines — Nearly five weeks since budget hearings started, the House of Representatives ended last night its floor debates and approved on third and final reading the executive department’s proposed P5.268-trillion national budget for 2023.

Two-hundred-eighty-nine lawmakers voted “yes,” three “no” and no one abstained during the voting.

They approved in plenary House Bill 4488 or the General Appropriations Bill of 2023, which President Marcos certified as urgent.

The agencies that have undergone grilling were the Office of the President, Presidential Management Staff, Congress and the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council with P9 billion, P883 million, P25.8 billion and P3 million budget, respectively.

The three others were the Departments of Finance (DOF) and of Budget and Management (DBM), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

House Minority Leader Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan delivered his turno en contra speech after both the majority and opposition lawmakers agreed to terminate the period of sponsorship and interpellation for the DBM, along with all its attached agencies.

Meantime, a political ally of former vice president Leni Robredo – incumbent Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. of Camarines Sur – has expressed support for the programs of the President, most particularly his goal of achieving food security or self-sufficiency.

The Bicolano lawmaker made his pronouncements before the budget deliberations for the Department of Agriculture, during which he said he is optimistic about Marcos’ agricultural plans, borne out of his decision to be concurrent DA chief.

“The President said that he will financially equip farmers and fishers and allow them to be more competitive and competent. Consistent with his pronouncements in the past, the President said that he would prioritize Agriculture by pushing for the mechanization and modernization of the sector,” Bordado said.

The legislator, now on his third term, likewise said he believes that “as Secretary of Agriculture, the President will prioritize finding solutions to the agriculture sector’s current problems.”

“I do hope, Madam Speaker, Mr. Sponsor, with the President himself as the Acting Secretary of the Department of Agriculture we can make some breakthroughs in the coming days,” he said.

At the same budget deliberation, Bordado made sure that the department’s proposed budget would benefit the entire country, rather than just the National Capital Region, which is far from an agricultural hub.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

NATIONAL BUDGET

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