By Billy Begas
Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Friday said the P5.268-trillion 2023 national budget will help the Marcos administration implement its agenda for prosperity to sustain growth, generate economic activities and jobs, and increase the income for Filipinos.
“It is the most important and potent tool the President, his economic team, and the entire government can use to accomplish the goals of the prosperity roadmap,” Romualdez said.
The 2023 budget is the first budget crafted under the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Romualdez thanked members of the House and the Senate and Executive officials for their cooperation in the early passage of the appropriations bill.
“As far as I can remember, the 2023 budget is one of the few spending bills signed into law in mid-December, way before the start of its implementation on New Year’s Day,” he added.
He said the administration, particularly the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), now has enough time to prepare for the release of funds appropriated in the 2023 budget law.
“The money needed to sustain our economic expansion momentum and keep the country on the high-growth path should be out on January 1.Agencies should be ready to keep up with their programs, activities, and projects while observing transparency and accountability,” Romualdez stressed.
Meanwhile, House Deputy Minority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera hailed Marcos’ timely signing into law of the proposed budget for next year.
Herrera said the first full-year budget of the administration “is a strong way forward for the country as we begin a journey of recovery from global economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently, the Russia-Ukraine crisis.”
Herrera added that it was encouraging to see that the Marcos administration has a “strong focus on mitigating some of the effects of inflationary impact while ensuring that vital infrastructure projects and socioeconomic programs are funded and on track.”
The lady solon also lauded and thanked the members of the bicameral conference committee led by Senator Sonny Angara and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Zaldy Co for successfully fulfilling their important task of reconciling the differences in the budget versions of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“The bicameral conference committee did a good job in harmonizing the conflicting provisions in the Senate and House versions in an expeditious and thorough manner, thus ruling out a reenacted budget that could derail our economic recovery,” Herrera added.