MANILA— The House of Representatives’ appropriations committee is right on track with its schedule to finish its deliberations on the proposed PHP3.767-trillion national budget for 2018 by August 24, its chairman said on Sunday.
In a radio interview, House appropriations committee chair and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles also said the House plenary is expected to tackle the proposed 2018 budget by September 4 after it hurdles the committee level.
“With the participation naman ng mga congressmen, I think, by August 24 dapat tapos na kami. At least sa committee level,” Nograles said.
The committee started its budget deliberations on August 1. The remaining departments that will undergo the panel’s scrutiny are the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Also set for budget briefings are the Ombudsman, Commission on Elections (COMELEC), and the Office of the President (OP).
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) are the two agencies whose budget presentations were deferred and will be tackled this week.
“Yong Department of Agriculture (DA) pati ang Department of Information and Communications Technology o DICT. Pero i-schedule na rin namin ito sa…siguro yong isa ilalagay ko sa August 24, yong isa ilalagay ko sa August 23 para matapos na,” Nograles said.
The National Expenditure Program was personally submitted by President Rodrigo Duterte to Congress after his second State of the Nation Address on July 24.
The proposed budget for next year is 12.4 percent higher than the PHP3.35 trillion budget for 2017 and represents 21.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The education sector will get the biggest chunk of the budget with a funding of PHP691.1 billion broken down as follows: Department of Education (DepED), PHP613.1 billion; Commission on Higher Education (CHED), PHP13.5 billion; and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), PHP64.6 billion.
The other agencies with the highest budgetary allocations are: Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), PHP643.3 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), PHP172.3 billion; Department of Health (DOH), PHP164.3 billion; Department of National Defense (DND), PHP145 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), PHP138 billion; Department of Transportation (DOTr), PHP73.8 billion; Department of Agriculture (DA), PHP54.2 billion; Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), PHP33.5 billion; and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), PHP27.9 billion.