MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives is proposing to realign a total of P9.52 billion under the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 to benefit various government agencies.
The biggest beneficiary would be the Department of Agriculture, which lawmakers want to give an additional P3.5 billion to so it could buy more palay from farmers amid the plummeting farmgate prices in parts of the country.
The proposed budget realignments – which the House officially calls institutional amendments – are a product of the individual amendments to the budget that legislators submitted to a small committee formed by the House leadership to vet such amendments.
But this list of institutional amendments came after the House approved the 2020 general appropriations bill on 3rd and final reading last week.
Section 25, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution bars Congress from making amendments to a bill that has already been passed on 3rd reading.
But Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the House merely followed a process that has long been practiced by legislators when it comes to the budget bill. He said the small committee was formed to help save time.
Here is the breakdown of the P9.52 billion worth of realignments being proposed by the House, as presented by Cayetano on Monday, September 30: