SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Isidro Ungab (3rd District, Davao City) reported that his Committee has completed in record time the hearings on the 2020 budget proposals of all government departments agencies and offices. Ungab said it was made possible through the guidance of Speaker Alan Peter “Compañero” Cayetano who wants to ensure the timely passage of a pork-free and illegal insertion-free budget that will provide the Filipino people with safe and comfortable life.
Ungab said that it was Speaker Cayetano’s innovative idea to adjust the plenary schedule to accommodate four (4) budget briefings daily.
He added that it was also Speaker Cayetano’s idea to ask the Committee on Appropriations Vice Chairmen and their teams to conduct the hearings after these are formally opened by the Chairman.
During the submission of the National Expenditure Program for Fiscal Year 2020 to Speaker Cayetano, Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Chairman Ungab and other House leaders, the Speaker said that the House will make adjustments in its plenary schedule to afford more time for the scrutiny and deliberations on the proposed P4.1-trillion proposed national budget for 2020.
“Under the effective guidance and leadership of Speaker Cayetano, everyone moved in accordance to his given task, and supported and coordinated with the leadership of the Committee on Appropriations which resulted in the early completion of the budget committee hearings last Friday, September 6. For that, I thank the Vice Chairmen and members of the Committee on Appropriations for their hard work and sense of responsibility,” Ungab said.
Ungab also thanked the other House Members who responded to their call of duty to help in the study and review of the budget proposals of the different government departments and agencies to determine the necessity of their programs and projects.
He said the cooperation and attendance of the various heads of government agencies and departments also contributed to the early completion of the budget hearings because the public officials provided the answers to the issues raised by the House Members.
A check on the previous schedules of the House showed that the annual budget hearings usually ended on the fourth week of September.
Following the termination of the hearings on the budget proposals for fiscal year 2020 of the different government departments, attached agencies and offices, Ungab said the Committee on Appropriations is set to approve on Monday, September 9, the Committee Report on House Bill 4228, principally authored by him, which seeks to appropriate funds for the operation of the government of the Republic of the Philippines from January 1 to December 31, 2020.
The sponsorship and start of floor deliberations on HB 4228 are scheduled on Tuesday, September 10. Ungab said the House is sticking to its original target date to pass the proposed national budget, which is before the October 4 recess.
Earlier, Deputy Speaker Neptali Gonzales II said the House was previously eyeing the plenary budget debates to begin by September 19. “The truth is, through the initiative of Speaker Cayetano, we were able to advance the schedule of the plenary debates," Gonzales said. / Rowena B. Bundang, News and Documentation Section-Press and Public Affairs Bureau/ House of Representatives of the Philippines