IT took only eight days for the House of Representatives to approve on second reading the first budget of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The P3.35 trillion proposed budget for 2017 is 11 percent higher than this year’s budget of P3.006 trillion.
Through viva voce voting, House Bill 3408 or the General Appropriations Bill, dubbed “Budget for Real Change” was passed without amendments and realignment.
Lawmakers likewise believe next year’s budget will fund the implementation of President Duterte’s 10-point socio-economic development agenda.
Meanwhile, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, directed the House members to submit on Monday their individual proposed amendments to the Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles.
Starting next week, the House will begin the period of amendments until the bill’s passage on third reading.
“It usually took us 10 days working until midnight, and prolonging the last day until the succeeding day, to pass the budget,” Fariñas said.
For his part, Nograles lauded the timely approval of the GAB and thanked his colleagues for their support and cooperation in passing the measure.
“I am happy with the swift approval of the 2017 General Appropriations Bill. This is one big step towards the realization of President Duterte’s agenda for true and meaningful change. This budget will fuel our quest for reforms that would uplift the lives of our people and fight the many evils plaguing our nation, such as drugs, crime and corruption. This is one big step towards the fulfillment of our aspirations as a nation,” Nograles said.
Nograles described the 2017 GAB as a budget that is truly for the people, of the people, and by the people, a budget that underlines what inclusiveness means. He said it is a budget that would effectively address the areas that have not been given sufficient attention, encompasses the broad spectrum of a balanced horizon for development, and will make the people feel confident that this administration truly cares for their welfare.
The top 10 agencies in terms of budgetary allocations are: Department of Education (DepEd), P567.5 billion; Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), P458.6 billion; Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), P150 billion; Department of National Defense (DND), P134.5 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P129.9 billion; Department of Health (DOH), P94 billion; State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), P58.8 billion; Department of Transportation (DOTr), P55.4 billion; Department of Agriculture (DA), P45.2 billion; and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), P41.7 billion.