Legarda: Senate ready to work on 2018 budget

MANILA-- Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, on Friday said the Senate is ready to work on the proposed 2018 national budget as the 2nd Regular Session of the 17th Congress resumes next week.

The lady lawmaker made the statement as President Rodrigo Duterte will submit to Congress the 2018 National Expenditure Program (NEP) on the day of his 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The early submission of the NEP would allow us to also start early in reviewing the proposed P3.767-trillion budget for 2018. We hope we can also approve the budget ahead of the usual schedule to ensure continuity of ongoing programs and immediate implementation of new ones by government agencies. When the budget is approved early, it allows for a more efficient delivery of services by the government, she explained.

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the proposed 2018 budget prioritizes education and infrastructure development, particularly for the government's infrastructure program, Build, Build, Build, and the provision of social services to the people.

Like the 2017 national budget, we will ensure that the 2018 budget will be pro-people�one that is socially inclusive, gender sensitive, climate adaptive, attuned towards reducing disaster risks, mainstreams culture and heritage in every department, and sensitive and responsive to the needs of the vulnerable sectors of our population, said Legarda.

The Committee on Finance is ready to review the budget. No time will be wasted to make sure that this will be a budget for the people and for our nation's growth. We will remain faithful to our duty of ensuring that the people's money is judiciously used for the common good, Legarda concluded.

Source: Philippine News Agency