House eyes passing 2020 budget bill in October —Salceda

Robie de Guzman   •   August 6, 2019   •   633

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives is eyeing to approve the proposed 2020 national budget before October 5, 2019, Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda said.

Salceda made the statement after attending a small group Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) with House and Senate leaders in Malacañang.

“Susubukan po ng House that before October 5, kasi October 5 dapat ma-approve on second reading,” he said.

Salceda, who chairs the House Committee on Ways and Means, noted that next year’s budget shall again follow a modified cash-based budgeting system.

“Yung parang 18 months pa rin ang labas. You’re given three more months to finish, three more months to collect,” he said.

The 2020 National Expenditure Program will be turned over to the House of Representatives on August 16.

Salceda added that the House is also set to work on the passage of five priority revenue measures as outlined in the 2019 State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte, two weeks prior to the approval of the 2020 budget bill.

These bills include the proposal to increase the alcohol excise tax rates; amend Commonwealth Act No. 146 or the Public Service Act; establishment of the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers; the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) bill; and the institutionalization of Malasakit Centers.

“Hopefully ngayong August sana matapos namin yun tatlong revenue bills, kasi lahat naman sila may Rule 48. Nasa SONA sila,” Salceda said.

The Committee on Ways and Means is set to conduct its first hearing on Monday, August 12.

House urged to probe govt’s alleged delayed warning on Taal eruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 16, 2020

A lawmaker has urged the House of Representatives to investigate the government’s alleged delayed warning on the Taal eruption.

Cavite 4th District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said there were “no news bulletins or SMS alerts” from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and other government agencies about the heightened activity in Taal Volcano.

“Due to lack of information, in the afternoon of the same day, while Taal Volcano is already manifesting increased volcanic activity, people still traveled towards it, while those who were already near Taal Volcano were shocked to see the smoke spewing from it and had to immediately flee under the dangers of ashfall,” he said.

Barzaga filed House Resolution (HR) No. 643 on Monday (January 13) and was released to the media on Tuesday (January 14).

However, Phivolcs reiterated there was no delay in the warning on the Taal eruption

During a press conference, Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division chief, Mariton Bornas said, “Those on the island were already relaying to us their observations.”

“They were given advice in case they needed to evacuate,” she added.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said “there are 6,000 people on the island. Nobody was injured, no one died.”

“It’s amazing. We should thank God nothing happened,” he said.

Malacañang said it is within the powers of Congress if they will approve the resolution or not.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte previously said he is pleased with the performance of government agencies including the performance of Phivolcs Officer-in-Charge and Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum.

“I am really very pleased, very happy that all agencies are here on hand and trying their best to help the community,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte likely to sign 2020 budget by first week of January 2020 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   December 27, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signs the 2019 General Appropriations Act at the Malacañan Palace on April 15, 2019. Witnessing the signing is Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign the 2020 national budget in the first week of January, the Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president is still scrutinizing the budget proposal to ensure that the spending bill does not contain any unconstitutional items.

The Palace official also assured that the chief executive will thoroughly study the budget bill before affixing his signature following Senator Panfilo Lacson’s claim that the House of Representatives made some realignment before the 2020 budget was signed by the Congressional bicameral conference committee.  

READ: Lacson says proposed 2020 budget still tainted with pork barrel

“When somebody says it’s unconstitutional, it doesn’t mean it’s unconstitutional. This president is a lawyer, he knows what is unconstitutional or not, so he decides for himself,” Panelo told reporters.

Duterte earlier signed into law a measure extending the validity of the 2019 national budget until December 31, 2020.

READ: Duterte signs extension of validity of 2019 budget to December next year

The measure will allow government agencies to spend this year’s fund, particularly for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) until the end of next year.

This aims to address the government’s need for budget after the delay in the passage of the 2019 National Budget and the implementation of the midterm election ban on infrastructure projects. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte signs extension of validity of 2019 budget to December next year

Marje Pelayo   •   December 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte officially signed last week the measure extending the validity of the 2019 National Budget until December 31, 2020.

Signed on December 20, the new Republic Act 11464 which amended Section 25 of the 2019 General Appropriations Act states that: “All appropriations authorized in this Act shall be available for release and obligation for the purpose specified, and under the same special provision applicable thereto, until December 31, 2020.”

The new measure will allow government agencies to spend this year’s fund, particularly for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) until the end of next year.

The measure is to address the government’s need for budget after the delay in the passage of the 2020 National Budget and the implementation of the midterm election ban on infrastructure projects.

The MOOE covers the budget for daily operations of government units.

The President already certified as urgent the passing of the 2020 National Budget.

It is expected to be signed in January next year. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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