House panel finishes budget hearings in record time

MANILA House Committee on Appropriations chairman and Davao City (3rd District) Rep. Isidro Ungab on Sunday reported that his panel has completed in record time the hearings on the proposed 2020 national budget.

Ungab attributed the fast completion of budget hearings to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who wants to ensure the timely passage of a pork-free and illegal insertion-free budget, that will provide the Filipino people with a safe and comfortable life.

He said it was Cayetano's innovative idea to adjust the plenary schedule to accommodate four budget briefings daily.

During the submission of the National Expenditure Program for Fiscal Year 2020, Ungab said Cayetano told them that adjustments in its plenary schedule will be made to allot more time for the scrutiny and deliberations of the proposed PHP4.1-trillion national budget.

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 (Sept. 6), Ungab said.

He thanked the vice chairmen as well as members of the House committee on appropriations for their work and sense of responsibility.

He also commended other House members who responded to their call of duty that resulted in the 'record time' panel hearings.

The Davao City solon 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.

Previous hearings on the proposed budget usually ended in the fourth week of September, he said.

Ungab said the House committee on appropriations is set to approve the Committee Report on House Bill 4228, which he principally authored, on Monday (Sept. 9).

He said floor deliberations on the proposed budget are scheduled to kick off on Tuesday (Sept. 10), promising to pass the national budget before the October 4 recess.

Earlier, Deputy Speaker Neptali Gonzales II said the House has previously set the start of the plenary budget debates on September 19.

The truth is, through the initiative of Speaker Cayetano, we were able to advance the schedule of the plenary debates," Gonzales said. (PR)

Source: Philippines News Agency