THE HOUSE of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third reading the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.
With 196 affirmative and eight negative votes, House Bill No. 8169, or the “2019 Fiscal Year General Appropriations Bill,” secured final-reading approval ahead of a Nov. 28 deadline, which Senate leaders said on Monday risks leading to a reenacted 2018 budget since senators will not have enough time to examine the spending plan for questionable insertions before Congress adjourns for its Dec. 15-Jan. 13, 2019 Christmas-New Year break.
“We’ll pass it today and then transmit to the Senate. So walang pagdududa, walang haka-haka na magkakaroon tayo ng (there should be no doubt, no speculation that we will have a) reenacted budget,” Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. of Camarines Sur’s 1st district had said in a press briefing earlier in the day.
’Yung nakita niyo sa diyaryo na Nov. 28 (The Nov. 28 third-reading approval deadline that you have read in the news) was the worst-case scenario which we have agreed upon with the Senate Finance Committee.”
The new budget gives state agencies a year to complete procurement of projects and other items in order to ensure they keep up with the spending program. — C. A. Tadalan