AUGUST 20, 2019) — Malacañang on Tuesday urged Congress to pass the 2020 national budget on time to avoid delays that can impact the country’s economy.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had submitted the 4.1 trillion-peso budget to the House of Representatives for the lower chamber to deliberate on.
“We are always hopeful whether Congress is dominated by allies by the President or not because after all, as we have said repeatedly, members of Congress should know exactly what is good for the Filipino people being representatives of them,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
Next year’s budget is 12-percent higher than the P3.66 trillion 2019 budget, which was delayed for three months due to alleged pork barrel insertions and other issues.
In the proposal, the Department of Education bagged the highest chunk of the budget with P673 billion, followed by P534.3 billion for the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development had P238 billion and P195 billion, respectively, while the Department of National Defense had a P166.5-billion allocation.
According to the DBM, the 2020 budget spending prioritizes public infrastructure development, anti-poverty programs including food security and employment generation, as well as the promotion of peace and national security.
Critical programs like the Universal Health Care Act, the Institutionalization of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, the Rice Liberalization Act, and the transition to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are all expected to be funded by the 2020 national budget.
The creation of the Department for Human Settlements and Urban Development and the national task force to end the local communist armed conflict will also be made possible through its 2020 allocations.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the lower chamber hopes to pass the budget proposal on final reading before Congress goes on a break on October 5.
Budget hearings will start on Thursday while plenary sessions will be moved from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to give more time for deliberations.
A copy of the proposal was also submitted to the Senate later on Tuesday. (Randell Ritumalta/JMF)
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