Senate eyes early review of proposed 2018 budget

MANILA-- A senator on Friday expressed hope that the Senate could get an early start in reviewing the proposed 2018 budget of PHP3.767 trillion as soon as its second regular session resumes next week.

When the budget is approved early, it allows for a more efficient delivery of services by the government, Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said in a press statement.

Legarda made this statement as Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is expected to submit to Congress the 2018 National Expenditure Program (NEP) during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday (July 24).

She pointed out that the early submission of the NEP would allow the Senate to start early in reviewing the proposed 2018 budget.

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, she added.

Legarda, meanwhile, assured that like the 2017 budget, the 2018 budget will remain pro-people, socially inclusive, gender sensitive, climate adaptive among others.

The senator also vowed that the Senate would not waste time and ensure that people's money is judiciously used for the common good.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) earlier said that 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.

Source: Philippine News Agency