Time is of the essence.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said on Sunday he wants the P4.5-trillion budget for 2021 passed by Congress and signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte by the first week of December.
“I think i-emphasize ko na kailangan ‘yung speed o ‘yung bilis na maipasa ito pero kailangan ‘yung quality ng Appropriations Act,” the Taguig lawmaker said in a DZBB interview.
“So nasabi ko sa mga kasamahan natin sa Kongreso, pati sa mga gabinete and hope to work well with the Senate, ang kailangan itong budget na ito ay magbigay ng pag-asa, hindi panay paasa ‘di ba?” he said.
“Kasi naghahanap ng hope ang ating mga kababayan. So ang initial target namin is matapos itong September, so hanggang before September 20 matapos kami dito sa committee level and then siguro mga ten days, pinakamatagal na two weeks sa plenaryo,” he said.
“So we hope na either end of September or by the end of the first week of October nasa Senado na ito. So ang target natin Divine, sana mapirmahan na ng Presidente ito ng first week pa lang ng December,” Cayetano said,
“May mabigat na dahilan ito eh, kasi usually umaabot ng end of December or ng January bago maging batas ito — kasama na d’yan ‘yung signing and publication,” he said.
“Pero actually kapag ang budget ay napasa nang maaga, maraming proyekto dito ang maaari nang i-procure o i-bid out,” Cayetano said.
“So imagine ‘yung masasayang na oras — January, February, March — kung halimbawa January pa lang magiging effective ‘yung budget, mag-o-organize pa lang sila, February sila magbi-bidding, March pa sila magpo-procure, sayang ‘yung apat na buwan na ‘yan,” he said.
Cayetano did not mention the supposed turnover of the House leadership from him to his presumptive successor, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.