The House of Representatives has already approved the budget of at least 76 percent of all government agencies with only four agencies left for deliberation before wrapping up the floor debates and moving for the approval of the P5.268-trillion National Expenditure Program.
Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe, the House majority leader and rules committee chairperson, said he created various teams to manage the flow of deliberations in the plenary.
With the system in place, the House under Speaker Martin Romualdez has approved the budget of a total of 54 departments, attached agencies, and constitutional bodies, and will have to act on the budget of four remaining 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,” he said.
“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 added.
The House leadership decided to defer until this week the discussion and the approval of the budget for the Department of Finance, including its attached agencies, the National Economic Development Authority and its attached agencies, and the Energy Regulatory Commission, he said.
The funding for the Department of Social Welfare and Development was approved Friday, but not the budget for the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, an attached agency.
Dalipe said this was to avoid unnecessary delays, adding there were a lot of Congress members who wanted 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 Sept. 28 deadline,” he said.