Philippines: ‘Common practice’: House body OKs PHP4tr 2020 budget behind closed doors

  • The House appropriations committee on 9 Sep 19 approved behind closed doors a committee report endorsing the approval of the proposed PHP4.1tr national budget for 2020 after just two weeks of deliberations.
  • In an interview after the closed door meeting, House committee on appropriations chair and Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab said the approval was unanimous. He also said convening into an executive session has been the “practice” even during past Congresses.
  • Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said the budget bill was unchanged from the version submitted by Malacanang on 20 Aug 19. Different agencies gave briefings to House members from 22 Aug 19 to 6 Sep 19.
  • Next stop for the budget bill is plenary session where debates and proposed amendments could take place starting 10 Sep 19 until 20 Sep 19. The House wants to pass the budget by 4 Oct 19, apparently in a rush to avoid a repeat of the delay in the 2019 budget which cost the Philippine economy its lowest growth rate in years.

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