House covers 76% of all agencies in plenary budget debates – Manila Bulletin

The government’s proposed budget of 5.268 billion pesos for 2023 is set to be approved after the House of Representatives completed plenary debates for at least 76% of all government agencies.

House of Representatives (FILE PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

The Lower House will soon vote to approve the 5.268 trillion peso National Expenditure Program (NEP) after House Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe expressed confidence that Congress will end all budget debates by the Sept. 28 deadline.

Crediting MPs and the various teams it has created to manage the flow of plenary deliberations, the lawmaker said Congress has so far approved the budget of 54 departments, attached agencies and constitutional bodies.

Only 14 agencies did not have their budget approved.

“I’m seeing longer and more heated budget discussions from some agencies this week, but it’s nothing we can’t handle. I’m confident we’ll end all discussions by September 28 and that we will approve the budget bill by September 30,” Dalipe said in a statement.

The discussions and approval of the budget of the Department of Finance (DOF), including its subordinate agencies – the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and its subordinate agencies, and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) – , have been postponed to this week because of the questioning of other legislators.

Dalipe, who represents Zamboanga City 2nd District, also said that the budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was already approved last Friday, but not the funding for its parent agency, the National Commission. Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) .

The decision to postpone approval of budgets for DOF and its related agencies, as well as NCIP, was made to “avoid unnecessary delays.”

READ: Proposed national budget for P5.268-T ‘still on track’ for House passage Oct. 1

The lawmaker admitted that there are a lot of lawmakers who want to raise questions about these agencies’ budget allocations, so they decided to list them this week to allow time for longer debates.

“We will have fewer agencies to deal with on the floor so we can give our members more time to discuss their budget while expediting budget approval from other government offices. But certainly their budget will be approved in time before our September 28 deadline,” he said.

The government agencies for budget deliberation during this week’s plenary are: Department of Tourism (DOT); Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Office of the Press Secretary (OPS); Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DICT); Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FDFA); Department of Public Works and Roads (DPWH); Department of Home Affairs and Local Government (DILG); Department of Transportation (DOT); Department of Energy (DOE); Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC); Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); Office of the President (OP); Presidential Management Staff (PMS); and NCIP.

Meanwhile, funding for the following agencies was already approved last week: Office of the Ombudsman; Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA); Anti-Bureaucracy Authority (ARTA); Electoral Commission (Comelec); Commission on Human Rights (CHR), including the Commission in memory of victims of human rights violations; Department of Science and Technology (DOST); Department of Justice (DOJ); Philippine Space Agency; Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP); Optical Media Card (OMB); Philippine Racing Commission (PHILRACOM); Civil Service Commission (CSC), including the Career Service Executive Council; Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA); Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP); Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (ZAMBOECOZONE); Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA); Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA); Bataan Free Zone Authority (AFAB); Climate Change Commission (CCC); Philippine Center for Economic Development (PCED); Games and Amusements Company (GAB); Philippine Sports Commission (PSC); Base Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA); and the Commission for Filipinos Overseas (CFO).

Budgets for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) were also approved; National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP); National Library of the Philippines (NLP); National Archives of the Philippines (NAP); Commission on the Filipino Language (CFL); Philippine Competition Commission (PCC); Commission on Higher Education (CHED); State Universities and Colleges (SUC) (RCN, Regions I to CARAGA Region, CAR, BARMM); the Film and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB); Governance Commission for GOCCs; judiciary power ; Office of the Vice President (OVP); Ministry of Education (DEPED); Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB); Philippines Drug Enforcement (PDEA); Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC); Department of Health (DOH), including attached agencies/companies; Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Department of Migrant Workers (DMW); Department of National Defense (DND); Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU); Department of National Defense (DND); DSWD, including attached agencies except NCIP; National Commission for Seniors; Presidential Legislative Liaison (PLLO); National Intelligence Coordination Agency (NICA); National Security Council (NSC); and the Audit Commission (COA).

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