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Duterte certifies P3.767T budget for 2018 as urgent

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In a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, President Rodrigo Duterte has certified the urgency of passing the P3.767 trillion budget for 2018.

“In order to address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year, to expedite the funding of various programs, projects and activities for FY 2018, and to ensure budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its Constitutional mandate,” according to Duterte.

The House is currently holding plenary deliberations on the budget, which it hopes to pass on the second reading on Tuesday night.

With the certification that it is urgent, it is possible to pass the measure on the third reading as well. But Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas said the House will only pass it on the second reading only. Third reading approval will be in a week or two after the printing of the amendments, he said.

After that, the General Appropriations Bill will be sent to the Senate for its own approval, and then to a bicameral conference committee to reconcile differences between the two versions, and then back to each House for ratification.