SENATOR Juan Edgardo M. Angara, who chairs the chamber’s finance committee, said Wednesday he hopes to work closely with the executive branch to ensure the timely approval of the P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020.
“We owe it to the people to pass the budget on time. Any delay in the implementation of public programs and the delivery of services is a disservice to them,” Mr. Angara said in a statement Wednesday.
He said the Senate will help ensure the government’s priority programs and projects are funded.
Mr. Angara added the committee will continue its practice of designating its vice chairpersons to handle budget deliberations of various agencies to “expedite the hearings.”
The Senate was locked in a months-long impasse with the House of Representatives and the Department of Budget and Management, which ultimately delayed the passage of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill until April.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the 2019 spending plan on April 15, vetoing some P95.3-billion worth of appropriations, reducing the GAB to a total of P3.662 trillion.
Mr. Angara said from his committee post, he hopes to ensure funding for education, health, infrastructure and rural development.
“We will go over the 2020 budget thoroughly and so that nothing goes to waste,” he added. — Charmain A. Tadalan