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Everybody happy na? Bicam leaders seek ratification of 2020 budget next week

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Congressional leaders are eyeing the ratification of the bicameral conference committee report for the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 next week, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab said.

“We’re still working on it. Hopefully ratified na by next week to give time for printing,” said Ungab.

He said the Senate and the panels have agreed on the need to pass and approve the national budget before the Christmas break.

“We will be working this week despite the typhoon,” he said.

Ungab, chair of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, said his panel just finished on Monday the figures and amendments in the version of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) approved recently by the Senate.

The Davao City congressman said he and his Senate counterpart, Finance Committee chair Sonny Angara “will still have to go through the details and we still have to agree on the contentious figures.”

Meanwhile, Ungab refused to comment over the existence of an additional P50-million allocation per congressman for their districts and constituents.

Politiko earlier reported that lawmakers have been advised to submit to Ungab, the list of infrastructure projects worth P50 million for their districts or constituents.

The said amount is on top of the P500-million infra allocations per congressional district programmed under the House version of the 2020 GAB.

Many lawmakers were allegedly dismayed following the decision of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetanothat only the 22 Deputy Speakers he picked will get an additional P150 million each.

Congressional insiders told Politiko that each lawmaker has been entitled to P50 million under the House of Representatives’ “leadership budget.” The Senate has a similar fund worth P20 billion.

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