House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Sunday reaffirmed her commitment to pass the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 when Congress resumes session today, Monday.
She said she had been consulting the senators and that Congress would just wait for the Senate to approve the budget.
“We do [talk with the senators], but we just let them do their own timetable. We cannot nag them. We cannot nag them on [passing] any of our measures,” Arroyo said.
Senator Loren Legarda, head of the Senate’s finance committee, said the Senate will give priority to the passage of the national budget when the sessions resume today.
She said the Senate will continue to hold marathon sessions to ensure the budget’s immediate approval.
“We aim to have the budget signed by the President by the second week of February,” Legarda said.
Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu said he was also committed to pass the national budget to ensure the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority programs.
“The house leadership is very keen on passing the 2019 annual budget when Congress resumes its session on Monday as there are lots of government programs and projects that are being tied or delayed due to the non-approval of the new budget,” he said.
Arroyo promised to focus on the oversight function of the House of Representatives by checking the performances of various government agencies in the implementation of laws and the President’s priority programs.
“We have already finished the legislative agenda that President Duterte asked for in his [third] State of the Nation Address,” Arroyo said.
“Now we will spend more time on oversight because there are laws and the laws are good. Now they have to be implemented… oversight will be a lot of the work,”
Abu has asked the Department of Public Works and Highways to assess the problem of road right of ways concerning various road projects of the government.
“We are also calling the attention of the DPWH to immediately respond to the queries and act double time to settle all issues surrounding the road right of ways acquisition,” he said.
The success of the project was dependent on the passage of the national budget and the road right of way acquisition, he said. With Macon Ramos-Araneta