House wraps up hearings on P5.77-T budget


LEADERS of the House of Representatives assured the public on Wednesday that there will be no reenacted budget next year as the House Committee on Appropriations ended its deliberations for the proposed P5.768-trillion 2024 national budget on time.

This, after the committee finished scrutinizing all the budget allocations for government agencies for 2024 late Tuesday.

House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Elizaldy Co said the next phase of the budget process involves consolidating all recommendations and amendments before they are brought for deliberation in the plenary.  Co assured his colleagues and the public that the committee is working overtime to move forward in the legislative process.

“The work is far from over, but the completion of these budget briefings marks a critical milestone in our journey towards a more prosperous and equitable Philippines,” Co said.

“We have taken significant strides towards finalizing the 2024 budget, which promises to be a landmark budget focused on national growth and the welfare of the Filipino people,” said Co.

House Committee on Appropriations Senior Vice Chairperson Stella Luz Quimbo assured taxpayers that the lower chamber would pass the budget on time without compromising its quality.

“We are on target; we started on August 10. By the grace of God, we finished it on time. It is expected that the plenary debates will start on September 19, and hopefully we finish this on September 27,” said Quimbo.

“We need to finish on time; we don’t want a delay, we don’t want a reenactment budget, and we don’t want any form of delay,” she added.  According to Quimbo, an executive committee meeting will be conducted before the approval of the committee report on the 2024 national budget on Thursday.

“We need to scrutinize it very carefully; at the committee we reached five rounds of interpellations. But so far we are very happy; the chairman of the appropriations [Elizaldy Co] is happy because members are active [at the committee level discussion],” she said.

Right now, Quimbo said she cannot say which agencies will be affected by the budget cuts or will be granted an additional budget due to pending deliberations at the plenary.

Moreover, Co said this year’s budget briefings have been marked by transparent and rigorous discussions, aiming to cover all sectors adequately and meet the nation’s priorities.

The Bicolano lawmaker emphasized the importance of timeliness in passing the budget to ensure that government programs and services do not experience any disruptions.

“I remain committed to my promise to expedite the passage of the 2024 GAA. It is our moral and civic duty to ensure that the budget is enacted efficiently, but also effectively, so as to better serve our fellow Filipinos,” he said.

Earlier, the leadership of the House of Representatives vowed to approve in a “transparent manner” the proposed P5.768-trillion 2024 national budget before the congressional break on September 29.  Compared to the current year’s P5.268 trillion in appropriations, the projected budget for the next year is 9.5 percent higher.