PRESIDENT Duterte certified as urgent on Wednesday the P4.1-trillion 2020 General Appropriations Bill in a bid to ensure its timely passage and prevent a repeat of the delay in the passage of the 2019 budget.
In separate letters to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte said there is a need to certify the money measure as urgent “in order to address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year.”
The President also cited the need to expedite the funding of various programs, projects and activities for FY 2020, and to ensure budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its Constitutional mandate.”
This comes weeks after budget deliberations in the House were temporarily stalled as dozens of lawmakers requested to restore or increase public works funding for their districts.
Nonetheless, Cayetano has since given assurances that the 2020 budget will be pork-free and that there will be no delay in the passage of the budget.
The House expects to end debates on the budget this week.
Plenary deliberations on the budget will run until September 20.
The House is sticking to its original target date—before lawmakers take a recess on October 4—to pass the proposed national budget, then transmit it to the Senate for its own deliberations on October 8.