The proposed national budget for 2020 amounting P4.1 trillion is now waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature after its approval from Congress’ bicameral conference committee on Wednesday.

House and Senate lawmakers had finalized the provisions of the spending plan during their second meeting held at the Manila Polo Club in Makati, according to Senate Finance Committee chairperson Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara. 

As expected, the final version of the proposed budget was smoothly approved by Congress leaders. 

Each chamber of Congress will now vote to ratify the final version, and then it will be sent to Duterte for his signature. 

Lawmakers’ target date for its approval is on Monday, but hopes for another day as senators requested for more time to review the proposal

Reenacted budget


According to the Congress leaders, Senate’s and House’s version of the budget “are not very far from each other.”

The relative agreement of the two houses for the measure is now more at ease than last year’s allegations of anomalous insertions in the spending bill, and when the lower chamber moved to tinker the measure then even after it was approved by the bicam. 

These led to a four-month delay, so Duterte got to sign the 2019 national budget only April this year. Thus, leaving new and continuing projects unfunded for almost half of the first semester. 

Duterte’s economic managers earlier warned that another reenacted budget could mean even slower growth, as seen with soft domestic activity from January-June.

However, lawmakers denied those anomalous realignments for the 2020 budget.

Duterte’s approval may happen well ahead before the Congress break starting on December 20. To avoid reenacted budget, the President must approve the new budget measure on or before the 2019 ends.  

READ: P166.5B allocated for universal health care program in 2020


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