THE House of Representatives is scheduled to approve on third and final reading tomorrow the P3.767
trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) which would guarantee the implementation of the pro-poor
programs, including free college education and the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure projects of
President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Barring any printing technical difficulties, we will consider on third reading the 2018 General
Appropriations Bill (GAB) on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, immediately following the Roll Call,” House
Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas told House reporters in a viber group
about the House leadership’s plan to approve the National Expenditure Program (NEP) bill this Tuesday.
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, who chairs the House committee on appropriations, assured the
people that the target record-breaking signing into law of the national budget by President Duterte on
or before November 15, 2017 remains on track.
Nograles made the statement following the full restoration of the respective budgets of the
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) amounting to P650.9 million and National Commission on Indigenous
People’s (NCIP) P1.13 billion.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) suffered P115 million budgetary cuts after only P508
million of its P623 million, excluding the P55 million payment for pensions for a total P678 million
allocation, budget was restored.
Nograles said the P40 billion funds came from the travel and supply expenses of CHR worth P115
million, P30 billion projects of the Department of Education (DepEd), P3 billion from the Department of
Transportation (DOTr), P6 billion allocation from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The Senate is still currently deliberating the GAB.
The education sector will continue to receive the biggest appropriation at P691-billion — P41.7
billion more than the 2017 budget.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and DOTr have hefty budgets of P643.3 billion
and P73.8 billion, respectively.
As for budget allocation according to sector, social services will remain the recipient of the
biggest budget, amounting to P1.45 trillion, or 38.5 percent of the proposed budget.
The economic services sector comes second with P1.15 trillion, 30.6 percent of the proposed
budget. The budget for economic services in 2018 gets a generous increase of 25% from the 2017 amount of