Speaker: Every centavo will be spent wisely

House Speaker Martin Romualdez has vowed that every centavo will be spent wisely in the implementation of government programs.

Romualdez led other House leaders in accepting the National Expenditure Program amounting to P5.268 trillion submitted by the Department of Budget and Management through Budget Secretary Amehan Pangandaman on Monday.

Aside from Romualdez, the other House officials present during the turnover ceremony were Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan, House Committee on Appropriations chairman Rep. Zaldy Co and his senior vice chairperson, Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo.

Romualdez said the proposed appropriations measure is “an exceptional fiscal program carefully formulated to provide a continuing booster shot to revitalize an economy still feeling the ill effects of the pandemic.”

He likewise affirmed that the previous administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program would continue under his leadership.

Sticking to his promise, Romualdez reiterated that the House will finish committee and plenary deliberations on the budget proposal before 1 October, the day the 19th Congress goes on its first recess.
“We will perform our constitutional mandate to scrutinize next year’s national budget,” he stressed.

Romualdez said the Committee on Appropriations will “hit the ground running” and start budget deliberations at the committee level on 26 August.

“The passage of the 2023 national budget will be transparent. This will be a product of the entire House of Representatives where the majority will listen to the concerns of our friends from the minority bloc. In a manner of speaking, this will be a ‘Unity National Budget’ because we plan to get the widest consensus on our spending plan,” he said.

Dalipe echoed Romualdez’s vow to pass the proposed national budget before the year-end.

“We are also closely coordinating with the committee on appropriations to facilitate our members who would want to fully discuss the budget. Of course, we only have one thing to do and that is to pass this budget, the General Appropriations Bill,” the majority leader said.

To ensure unnecessary delays will not snag the budget process, Dalipe said the House leadership has agreed to work out a system to ensure that the proposed budget is passed on time.

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