The House of Representatives will transmit their final version of 2021 budget to the Senate by next week, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said, adding that the lower chamber made sure that there are no pork insertions to the spending bill.
Initially, the House planned to to transmit the General Appropriations Bill by November 5, but Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that would make it hard for the Senate to pass it on time.
“We agreed on October 28, best effort of the House. But October 28 can actually be made October 30. But I believe Chairman Eric Yap has already committed that we will transmit the budget by October 28,” the speaker said.
House lawmakers passed the GAB on final reading on Friday, October 16, heeding President Rodrigo Duterte’s certification of the budget as urgent.
The National Printing Office would take days to print copies of the multivolume bill, hence the October 28 deadline.
The P4.5-trillion budget for 2021 includes funds for the coronavirus pandemic response.
Velasco also gave his assurance that the GAB will not contain ‘pork’.’
“Let me assure you that there is no pork in the budget and that the small committee would only do institutional amendments in the departments and agencies asking for more budgets. That is their job,” he said.