House starts scrutiny on proposed P3-trillion 2016 national budget

By , on August 8, 2015


MANILA — Economic mnagers of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will start its briefing next week on its Php3.002-trillion 2016 national budget, House Appropriations committee chairman and Davao Rep. Isidro Ungab said Saturday.

Ungab said that the briefing would start on Monday with the help of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee composed of the DBM, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Finance and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

In a text message, Ungab said his committee would divide the national budget to different committees hoping to finish it by September.

Scheduled on Tuesday, the Appropriations committee will tackle the budgets of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp..

The budgets of the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Human Rights and Commission on Audit will be discussed on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Department of Justice and the judiciary will be on the table.

“I don’t think there will be a problem of quorum at the committee level,” Ungab said in a text message.

He said lawmakers were expected to attend the budget deliberations because this was their chance to make suggestions and recommendations.

It has been a problem of the House leadership after the State of Nation Address was delivered last July 27 by President Benigno Aquino III to get the needed quorum.

Five session days were wasted, which were expected to move the pending bills, including the Bangsamoro Basic Law; Anti-Dynasty Bill and the Freedom of Information which failed to move.

House Majority Floor Leader Biyet Gonzales said in a separate interview that there were about 20 more lawmakers lined up for interpellation for BBL alone.

Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, chairman of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, said that he was ready to present to the floor the consolidated version of Anti-Dynasty Bill which was mentioned by President Aquino on his SONA.

Meanwhile, the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill is still in the committee level and also awaits signals from the leadership after the committee on Appropriations approved the measure.