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Friday, Septemb er 2O, 2.

O19

House may approve


2020 budget bill todaY
BY JovEEMARTE N. DELACRUZ Vicente Sotto lll and House Speaker
, @jowemarie Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte cited the
need to certifythe money measure as
+HE House of Representatives is urqent "in order to address the need
I targeting to apProve the Pro- to maintain continuous government
I posed 2020 P4.1'trillion General operations following the end of the
Appropriations Act {GAA) on Friday current fiscal yearl'
after President Duterte certified the The President also cited the need
billas urgent. to expeditethefunding of various pro-
House Committee on APProPria- grams, projectsand activities for 2020,
tionsChairman lsidrol Ungab saidthe and to"ensurebudgetarypreparedness
second and third reading approvalsare that will enable the government to
' both possibleon Fridaywith the urgent effectively perform its Constitutional
certification from the Palace mandate.'
"The need to Pass the budget on
time is of immense importance in help- Pork banel?
ing boostthe economy.that is whywe HOUSE Deputy Minority Leader and
thank President Duterte for certifying Bayan Muna Rep. carlos lsagani Zarate
the budget as an urgent measure;'said challenged lawmakers to get rid ofthe
Ungab. "porkbarrel"system and havea national
"Given the said certification, the budget that "genuinely and directly
P4.l-trillion budget for 2020 may be goesto the servicesthat is needed by
passed on the same daywithout wait-' their constituentsl'
ing for separate days to have it aP- "Bayan Muna and Makabayan bloc
proved on second and third readings. representatives did not avail or partake
Thus,lt is possible thatthe GAB [General of any ofthe so-called P1o0-million al-
Appropriations Billlwill be passed thii llrcatiqnper House member for item-
Friday. since it was already certified as ized projectsto be included in the2020
urgent,'he added' national budqetl' Zarate said
After the aPproval in the House, the "Even if it is argued that it is not
2O2O nationalbudgetwill betransmitted contrary to the 2013 Supreme Court
to the Senate for its own deliberations. decision outlawing lump sum alloca-
Majority Leader Martin G. Romual- tion and post-enactment intervention
dez assured Filipino taxpayers that the of Congress members, this 2020 con-
2O2O budget will be a "reflection not gressional entitlement is still part of
only ofthe President's vision, but also the pervasive patronage system that
of the people's will." unfortunately marks our budget pro-
"We, in Congress, suPPortthe initia- cess," he said.
tives of the Duterte administration to Earlier, House Committee on WaYs
empower the poor through increased and Means Chairman JoeY Salceda
subsidies and grants aimed at ending said P million was allocated to each
100

the lntergenerational cycle of poverty conqressman underthe proposed 2020


in the country;'he added. national budqet.
Deputy SPeakerRaneo Abu said the Ofthe P100 million, he said P70 mil-
timely passage of the 2020 national lion-is allottqd for irfrFsJriugture proj-
budget is the House'5 commitment to 'ecisl while P3o million is for medital
the President and the Public. ' and educational assisthnce.
"Definitely, this will uplift the living Salceda said. however,thatthe P1 00
condition of poor Filipinos in all parts million is not pork barrelastheallocation
of the country.This will also ensurethe cannot be considered as a lumP sum.
country's high and sustainable eco- Also, Albay ReP Edcel Lagman, cit-
nomic arowth performance;' he said' ing a 5c decision' said pork barrel is a
On Wednesday, Duterte cenified as congressional intervention after the
urgent the 2020 budget to ensure its enactment of the GAA
timelypassageand preventa repeatof the ln 2013, the sc abolished and de-
delay in the passageofthe 2019 budget. clared the Priority Development As-
ln separate letters to Senate President sistance Fund unconstltutlonal.

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