Senate to tackle 2018 nat’l budget next week

By , on September 29, 2017

FILE: Senate Seal (PNA Photo)
FILE: Senate Seal (PNA Photo)

MANILA — The Senate on Wednesday received from the House of Representatives the 2018 General Appropriations Bill (House Bill No. 6215) which contains the 2018 proposed national budget worth PHP3.767 trillion.

Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that her committee is ready to sponsor the 2018 national budget next week after the subcommittee reports are submitted.

Legarda said that she hopes to finish budget interpellations of all agencies before the Senate adjourns on October 12 for a month-long break.

“Upon submission of the subcommittee reports of my vice chairpersons, we will file and sponsor the committee report next week and we will conduct marathon sessions so we can finish the budget interpellations of all agencies before session adjourns on October 12 for a one-month break,” Legarda said.

She said that the Senate will be able to approve the national budget on second and third reading upon resumption of session in November.

Afterwards, there will be a bicameral conference committee so that the Senate and the House can reconcile the differences in their respective versions of the proposed 2018 national budget.

The senator expects the proposed 2018 national budget to be submitted to the President on the second week of December and enacted before Christmas.

“Hopefully, this would help in the early disbursement of funds and a more efficient obligation,” Legarda said.

This way, she said, agencies would have time to plan the execution of approved projects and programs before the holidays. (PNA)