By Macon Ramos-Araneta
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said he is preparing for a quick deliberation on the 2023 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) in the Senate.
“It seems this would not take long, this deliberation. This won’t take long because the increase (in the budget) is not that big,” Zubiri said in a media briefing Wednesday afternoon.
He noted that the proposed P5.268 trillion has a “very minimal” increase from the current fiscal year’s P5.024 trillion appropriations. “Actually, very minimal, almost the same amount as this year’s budget,” Zubiri said, adding that “we’re looking at only a 4-percent increase.”
According to Zubiri, they will scrutinize the different programs of the government in the National Expenditures Program but there won’t be too many changes. Zubiri said they expect to deliberate on the national budget in November.
However, lawmakers will still hold briefings ahead of the official submission of the House of Representatives of the proposed 2023 GAB to the Senate.
“They are looking at finishing the budget by end of September,” Zubiri said. “Because we will have our break first week of October, they will give us the GAB and then we will tackle it here when we get back on first week of November. “
Senate Finance Committee chairperson Sonny Angara said they are eying the start of the budget briefings on September 12.
Under Article VI, Section 24 of the 1987 Constitution, all appropriation measures shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.
Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman submitted to the House of Representatives the proposed budget for next year.