By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte has certified the proposed P4.5-trillion budget for 2021 as urgent.
In an October 9 letter addressed to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte called for the immediate passage of the General Appropriations Bill.
“Pursuant to the provisions of Article VI, Section 26 (2) of the 1987 Constitution, I hereby certify to the necessity of the immediate enactment of House Bill No. 7727, entitled: ‘An Act Appropriating Funds for the Operation of the Government of the Philippines from January One to December Thirty-One, Two Thousand and Twenty-One, and for Other Purposes’, in order to address the need to maintain continuous government operations following the end of the current fiscal year, strengthen efforts to respond more effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic, and support initiatives towards national economic recovery,” the Chief Executive said.
A copy was also furnished to Presidential Legislative Liason Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy.
Relatedly, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 1027 calling Congress to a special session on October 13 to 16 to resume budget deliberations.
This, he added, will ensure the “prompt” passage of the funding bill for next year.
The House of Representatives had earlier suspended sessions until November 16 after its approval of the 2021 national budget on second reading.