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MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Tuesday, November 28, approved on third and final reading the proposed P5.768 trillion-2024 national budget.
Voting 21-0-1, senators approved the 2024 budget which is 9.5% higher than the 2023 budget of P5.268 trillion.
“Para sa badyet na ito, tayo’y nagpuyat at nagdebate nang higit sa isang linggo. Iilan sa atin nga, naubusan ng panahon para sa mahal sa buhay para tumayo at magsalita, magtanong at siyasatin nang maigi ang panukalang badyet. Inuumaga na kasi ang mga debate. Lahat ito, para magampanan ang mandato ng Senado, ayon sa Saligang Batas,” said Senator Sonny Angara, who sponsored the budget as chairman of the finance committee.
(For this budget, we stayed up late and debated on this for over a week. Some of us had to sacrifice time for their family and loved ones just to stand, speak, and examine thoroughly the proposed budget. The debates stretched into the morning. All this, just to fulfill the mandate of the Senate according to the Constitution.)
The Senate met its goal of passing the national budget in time for signature of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. by the first or second week of December. The House already approved the proposed budget in September.
Following the Senate approval, a bicameral conference committee will reconcile differences in the House and Senate versions of the budget that each chamber passed. Once reconciled, the bill will be returned to both houses for ratification. The ratified version will be transmitted to Malacañang for Marcos’ signature.
One of the major developments in the Senate version of the bill was the removal of the P650 million in confidential funds of Vice President Sara Duterte as she dropped her request following backlash. The House version also did not include confidential funds for Duterte. – Rappler.com