THE House of Representatives aims to pass the P5.77-trillion 2024 national budget before the recess on Sept. 30, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said.
“We will surely finish (deliberating on) the budget before our October break. We average five weeks of solid work on budget deliberations, consideration, review, and approval through third reading,” Mr. Romualdez said in a briefing on Saturday.
Mr. Romualdez said the 2024 budget is expected to “sustain the country’s economic growth, create more income and job opportunities… and improve their quality of life through the timely delivery of basic social service like education, healthcare and infrastructure.”
He added that budget deliberations will also focus on how the annual budget is used as well as the implementation of existing laws.
The House will open its second regular session on Monday and will go on a break at the end of September.
Once it hurdles the chamber, the budget will be deliberated in the Senate. A document harmonized in conference committee will then be passed on to Malacañang afterwards for the President’s signature.
Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said that the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) is expected for submission to Congress a week after President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
The NEP contains the National Government’s spending plan and details its programs for the next year. Once it is signed into law, the spending plan will be known as the General Appropriations Act.
Under the Constitution, the NEP must be submitted to Congress within 30 days after the SONA.
The proposed 2024 national budget is P500 billion or 9.5% higher than this year’s P5.268-trillion budget.
Mr. Romualdez said legislators will “be setting clear priorities and make informed decisions” on the 2024 budget. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz