Where House is proposing to realign P9.52 billion in 2020 budget

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 P9.52 billion will come from the P5.77 billion initially allocated to the Commission on Elections to fund the 2020 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections and another P3.75 billion that was originally set for right-of-way funds under the Department of Public Works and Highways.

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:

– Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.