PBBM certifies General Appropriations Bill as urgent

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

September 20 2023, 10:26 pm

<p>President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.<em> (File photo)</em></p>

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has certified as urgent the enactment of House Bill 8980, or the 2024 General Appropriations Bill (GAB), Malacañang announced Wednesday.

In a statement, Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said Marcos is seeking Congress’ immediate approval of the 2024 GAB to ensure the funding of different government programs and projects next year.

Marcos, in a letter issued Wednesday and addressed to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and House Speaker Martin Romualdez, called for the swift passage of the GAB “to address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year (FY).”

“Pursuant to the provisions of Article VI, Section 26 (2) of the 1987 Constitution, I hereby certify to the necessity of the immediate enactment of House Bill No. 8980, entitled: ‘An Act Appropriating Funds for the Operation of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines from January One to December Thirty-One, Two Thousand and Twenty-Four,’” the letter read.

The certification, he said, would also ensure budgetary preparedness “that will enable the government to effectively perform its Constitutional mandate.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Romualdez said the House is eyeing the passage of the GAB on third and final reading by Sept. 27.

Romualdez said the House of Representatives would hasten the bill’s passage to give the Senate sufficient time to review and possibly introduce amendments.

He said he expects the GAB to be signed by President Marcos before Christmas.

The Marcos administration is seeking an allocation of PHP5.768 trillion for 2024, higher by 9.5 percent compared to the PHP5.268-trillion national budget this year. (PNA)