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Romualdez bats for new style of budget prep to ‘hasten’ passage

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House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez on Tuesday said the planned prior consultation with members of Congress in the preparation of the national budget “is consistent with the constitutional mandate that the power of the purse lies with the legislature.”

“It will hasten consideration of the President’s budget proposal not only in the House Committee on Appropriations but in Plenary as well,” he said.

“Remember that the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the 2020 national budget in record time on September 20, 2019,” the Leyte lawmaker said.

“Historically, the proposed national budget is approved in the House of Representatives not earlier than October,” Romualdez said.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier announced that the House of Representatives and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) are eyeing a smoother process for the preparation and approval of the annual national budget.

He said the House and the DBM want to “take a second look” at the traditional way of preparing the proposed budget and presenting it to the two chambers of Congress.

He said the plan is for the executive and legislative branches to work together in putting together the yearly outlay.

“That is what we want to do and that is what Budget Secretary (Wendel) Avisado wants to do – even before the President submits the budget to Congress, there is consultation with the proper committees of both the House and the Senate, instead of them preparing it and the House revising it and the Senate doing its own revision,” he said.

Cayetano said enacting the appropriations bill would be smoother and faster “if we can do the budget together.”

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