MANILA – The House of Representatives has approved at least 76 percent of all government agencies' budgets before wrapping up the floor debates and moves for the approval of the PHP5.268-trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP).
House Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chair Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe on Friday said utilizing the various teams that he created to manage the flow of deliberations in the plenary, the House has approved the budget of a total of 54 departments, attached agencies, and constitutional bodies, failing only to act on budget of four agencies.
“The implementation of schedules and the flow of the plenary discussion has been executed flawlessly by our team of deputies in the Rules Committee and the Committee on Appropriations. I see longer and more heated discussions on the budget of some agencies this week but it is nothing we cannot handle. I’m confident we will terminate all debates by Sept. 28 and approve the budget bill by Sept. 30,” Dalipe said a press statement on Sunday.
Dalipe said the House leadership decided to defer until this week the discussion and the approval of the budget of the Department of Finance and its attached agencies; the National Economic Development Authority and its attached agencies; and the Energy Regulatory Commission.
The funding for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was approved Friday but not the budget for its attached agency, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
Dalipe said this is to avoid unnecessary delays as he admitted that there are a lot of Congress members who want to raise questions on the budget allocations of these agencies, so they decided to list them up this week to give time for lengthier debates.
“We will have fewer agencies to tackle on the floor so we can give our members more time to discuss their budget while expediting the budget approval of the other government offices. But certainly, their budget will be approved in time before our September 28 deadline,” Dalipe said.
Deemed terminated for plenary debates as of Friday are the budget proposals for the following government agencies: Office of the Ombudsman; Mindanao Development Authority; Anti-Red Tape Authority; Commission on Elections; Commission on Human Rights, including Human Rights Violation Victims’ Memorial Commission; Department of Science and Technology; Department of Justice; Philippine Space Agency; Film Development Council of the Philippines; Optical Media Board; Philippine Racing Commission; Civil Service Commission, including Career Service Executive Board ; Southern Philippines Development Authority; Development Academy of the Philippines; Cultural Center of the Philippines; Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority ; Cagayan Economic Zone Authority; Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan; Climate Change Commission; Philippine Center for Economic Development; Games and Amusement Board; Philippine Sports Commission; Bases Conversion and Development Authority; Commission on Filipinos Overseas; and National Commission for Culture and the Arts;
The House also approved the budget of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines; National Library of the Philippines; National Archives of the Philippines; Commission on the Filipino Language; Philippine Competition Commission; Commission on Higher Education; State Universities and Colleges (NCR, Regions I (Ilocos Region) to Caraga Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao); the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board; Governance Commission for GOCCs; the Judiciary; Office of the Vice President; Department of Education; Dangerous Drugs Board; Philippine Drug Enforcement; Anti-Money Laundering Council; Department of Health, including Attached/Agencies/Corporations; Department of Agrarian Reform; Department of Labor and Employment; Department of Migrant Workers; Department of National Defense; Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity; Department of National Defense; National Commission of Senior Citizen; Presidential Legislative Liaison; National Intelligence Coordinating Agency; National Security Council and the Commission on Audit.
Scheduled in the plenary this week are the following offices: Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, Office of the Press Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of the President, Presidential Management Staff, and NCIP. (PNA)