29.9 C
Friday, May 31, 2024

House will still debate OP, OVP budgets—solon

- Advertisement -

Marikina City Rep. Stella Quimbo on Sunday said the House of Representatives will still take up and debate the proposed budgets of the Office of the President and Office of the Vice President in plenary deliberations that begin Tuesday.

In a radio interview, Quimbo said the P10.7 billion budget of the OP and the P2.38 billion budget of the OVP were passed at the committee level with no questions asked out of parliamentary courtesy.

“It doesn’t mean that we will not subject their budgets to debate.

That’s not what we mean. There will be a full debate on their budgets at the plenary,” Quimbo said.

Despite questions raised by some lawmakers about how such funds are used, the two offices’ proposed budgets for confidential funds remained intact.

Quimbo said these questions have yet to be discussed and will be tackled in the plenary sessions.

“If you recall, we did not hear any answers at the committee level because we extended parliamentary courtesy to the offices — OP and OVP,” she added.

On Sept. 13, the appropriations committee ended its deliberations on the proposed 2024 national budget.

It is now consolidating all recommendations and amendments for submission to the plenary, where deliberations begin on Sept. 19.

Congress is working to approve the national budget on final reading before it goes on recess on Sept. 30.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said Congress is on track to expeditiously approve the P5.768-trillion budget submitted by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. before its recess later this month.

“We will work morning and afternoon and on Thursday and Friday this week to meet our timeline. The national spending bill is the single most important piece of legislation Congress passes every year,” he said.

The measure “will support the President’s prosperity and economic recovery road map,” he said.

“Through the national budget, we hope to sustain our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, create more income and job opportunities for our people, and improve their quality of life through the timely delivery of basic social services like education, health care, infrastructure and financial aid,” he said.

Plenary debates on Tuesday will kick off with sponsorship speeches, followed by debates on general principles and provisions, and consideration of the budgets of the Department of Finance, Department of Tourism, and National Economic and Development Authority, including their attached agencies, and certain offices under the Office of the President (OP).

On deck for Wednesday are the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Elections, Commission on Human Rights, Department of National Defense, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, and more OP agencies.

On Thursday, the House will scrutinize the spending proposals of the judiciary, Department of Justice, Department of Agrarian Reform, Presidential Communications Office, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, and state universities and colleges.

Friday will see the chamber considering the budgets of Congress, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Migrant Workers, Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Interior and Local Government, including their attached agencies, and funding support for several government corporations.

On Sept. 25, it will be the turn of budgets of the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and additional OP agencies to be considered.

Proposed appropriations for the OP, Office of the Vice President, Department of Education, Metro Manila Development Authority, and Dangerous Drugs Board and several other OP agencies, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources will be tackled on Sept. 26.

Sept. 27 will be the last day of budget deliberations, and will take up the spending proposals of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Transportation, Department of Budget and Management and lump-sum appropriations.

If needed, the House of Representatives could still hold sessions until Sept. 29.


Popular Articles