Budget nears House OK

WITH House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo closely monitoring the deliberations through the night, the House of Representatives has approved on second reading the proposed 2019 national budget Wednesday night.

House Bill 8169 or the Fiscal Year 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) provides for a national budget of P3.757 trillion.

The Majority lawmakers agreed to pass the budget on time to ensure there will be no re-enacted budget for next year.

In an interview, Arroyo said they intend to pass the budget measure on final reading before the October 12 congressional recess and transmit it to the Senate.

In last night’s period of individual amendments, Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said pursuant to parliamentary precedence, he proposed the creation of a small committee to receive and resolve amendments to HB 8169.

Appointed members of the small committee are for the Majority: Committee on Appropriations Senior Vice Chairperson Maria Carmen Zamora, Reps. Federico Sandoval II and Corazon Nunez-Malanyaon; for the Committee on Rules: Andaya and for the Minority:  Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Reps. Anthony Bravo and Edcel Lagman.

The deadline for the submission of amendments is set on October 9.

As always, the education sector will get the lion’s share of the national budget. The total proposed funding for Department of Education (DepEd), state universities and colleges (SUCs), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) of P659.3 billion marks a 12.3 percent or P72.2 billion growth over their 2018 budget of P587.1 billion.

Of the proposed appropriations of P659.3 billion for the education sector, P528.8 billion will be allocated to DepEd; P65.2 billion will go to SUCs;  P50.5 billion to CHED; and P14.8 billion to TESDA.

The DPWH will receive the second highest allocation with P555.7 billion, which represents an increase of 25.8 percent or P113.9 billion compared to its P441.8 billion budget in 2018.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will receive the third largest appropriation in 2019 with P225.6 billion. This is 30.9 percent increase or P53.2 billion more than its 2018 funding of P172.4 billion.