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Lower House eyes passage of 2020 budget by October

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House leadership is eyeing the third reading passage of the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) before Congress takes break on October 5.

House Majority Floor Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that having a shorter time frame, approving next year’s National Expenditure Program (NEP) “is turning up to be a Herculean task” for the House of Representatives.

The proposed 2020 NEP has yet to be submitted to Congress by Malacañang although there are reports that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will turn it over to the Lower House on August 20.

Romualdez said the House leadership under Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano will continue to hold budget briefings to ensure the active participation of Duterte Cabinet’s economic managers as well as other heads of various departments and line agencies ahead of the formal deliberations of their respective budgetary requirements for next year.

Romualdez vowed that the 2020 NEP “will go through the normal and very transparent process” of deliberations to fully discuss its merits and main objective to serve the people.

“We are going to scrutinize the national budget and do our jobs properly,” said Romualdez.

Social and economic services according Romualdez will get the bigest chunks of allocations under the 2020 NEP.

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