The Palace said Tuesday it is hopeful that the 2020 national budget will be approved by the Congress on time to avoid delays that will slow down the funding of government projects.
“We can always hope that it will pass on time because any delay will affect our economy and I am sure the members of Congress know that,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said after the Department of Budget and Management submitted the P4.1-trillion budget proposal to lawmakers.
The budget proposal for 2020 is 12 percent higher than the previous year, with the education sector getting the lion’s share.
In the House, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said lawmakers would delay the start of their daily plenary sessions so that committees could work overtime to thresh out the national budget.
Cayetano assured the public of a “pork-free” national budget for 2020, with no secretly parked funds in government departments.
House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said the House is committed to pass a constitutionally compliant national budget for the year 2020.
“We will comply with the Supreme Court ruling that outlawed any form of pork barrel. Definitely, the pork barrel system is a thing of the past,” Romualdez said.
“The line item budgeting system will be strictly observed to ensure transparency and accountability in the disbursement of public funds. There will be no post-enactment intervention,” Romualdez added.
Acting Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado delivered the copies of the proposed national government budget to the House Tesday morning.
While the congressmen will not have their own discretionary allocations, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar has assured them of an equitable distribution of funds among congressional districts, with each receiving between P400 million and P500 million, Cayetano said.
The House committee on appropriations, chaired by Rep. Isidro Ungab of Davao City, will kick off its budget deliberations on Thursday. He said the chamber will hold hearings from Mondays to Fridays, and that the session will begin at 5 p.m. starting Monday next week to allow congressmen to participate in the budget discussions.
The Department of Education gets a huge chunk of the 2020 budget with P673 billion. The budget includes the agency’s allocation for state colleges and universities, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Commission on Higher Education.
This is followed by Department of Public Works and Highways, P534.3 billion; Department of the Interior and Local Government, P238 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development, P195 billion; Department of National Defense, P189 billion; Department of Health, P166.5 billion; Department of Transportation, P147 billion; Department of Agriculture, P56.8 billion; the Judiciary, P38.7 billion and Department of Environment and Natural Resources, P26.4 billion.
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