By Ben Rosario
Led by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, the House of Representatives is expected to show up in full force and receive the 2020 National Expenditure Program proposing a P4.1 trillion budget for the year.
Instead of limiting to Committee on Appropriations leaders the number of solons who will receive the NEP from acting Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, the presence of a big number of Lower House members is expected, in an apparent demonstration of support for the swift passage of the budget measure pledged by Cayetano.
The speaker invited all members to attend the budget submission ceremony that will take place at 10 am today at the Nograles Hall in the South Wing Annex of the Batasan Complex.
The Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Isidro Ungab (HTL, Davao City) will launch budget hearings starting Monday next week.
Press and Public Affairs Bureau (PPAB) Executive Director Ma. Bernadette dela Cuesta announced that tomorrow’s budget submission ceremony and the press conference that will follow will be video streamed live to enable public viewing.
Dela Cuesta said the public can view the live streaming through the Facebook account of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, and the House of Representatives website.
Ungab said budget hearings will be conducted from Mondays to Fridays to help ensure the timely passage of the 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
“We will do our best to approve the budget on time and exercise our constitutional duty to scrutinize the budget to make sure that every peso that we appropriate will contribute to the overall growth and development of the country,” said Ungab.
He said the appropriations committee hopes to finish the budget hearings by the second week of September and start plenary deliberations as soon as the panel approves its committee report.
The target date for the passage of the General Appropriations Bill is October 4, before the congressional recess, Ungab said.