House wraps up 2022 gab debates

The House of Representatives will wrap up today the plenary debates for the 2023 National Budget.

Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, House Committee on Appropriations senior vice chairperson, said Tuesday the wrapping up is the second stage of the budget process where Congress members dedicate another pair of eyes to review the proposed budget.

“So far, we have terminated the debates for 61 agencies and constitutional bodies, leaving us with 14 more to deliberate,” Quimbo said.

She said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s certification of the immediate enactment of the 2023 General Appropriations Bill is vital.

“Usually, bills go through three independent readings on three separate days. With the President’s certification of urgency, mapapabilis ang proseso dahil hindi na kinakailangan ng hiwalay na second at third reading,” she added.

She said the House is on track to pass the budget before 1 October. Congress will then transmit the GAB to the Senate, which will have its own version. A bicameral conference will also be done to consolidate the versions of each chamber.

The target is to pass the 2023 General Appropriations Act by the end of this year to avoid having a re-enacted budget, she said.

A re-enacted budget would mean delays in the delivery of public services. NEDA estimated that in 2019, the re-enacted budget cost 1-1.2 percentage points of the GDP growth.

“We may have been running on a tight schedule since the budget season started, but the appropriations committee led by chairperson Elizaldy Co is elated that we have stayed on track,” Quimbo said.

Co said the committee’s strategies in time management and maximizing communication channels between House members and agencies have been effective.

“As we conclude the second phase of the budget process in Congress, the commitment of the members to pass the GAB on time is still unwavering,” he said. Rest assured that we will pass the budget on time without compromising its quality. We will pass a 2023 budget that is geared towards economic recovery and inclusive prosperity.”

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