The House of Representatives will submit to the Senate the printed copy of the 2021 national budget bill on November 5, even though it has yet to approve the measure on final reading, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Thursday.
This is to allow the Senate to proceed with its deliberations on the measure ahead of the formal transmittal of the House-approved budget bill on November 16.
“We will submit the printed budget to the Senate on November 5, allowing them to proceed with their hearings, and preparing the way for the formal transmittal on November 16, immediately after Congress votes and approves on third reading the 2021 General Appropriations Bill,” Cayetano said in a Facebook post.
His statement came after President Rodrigo Duterte warned members of the House of Representatives to immediately resolve the budget impasse or else he will take matters into his own hands.
The President likewise appealed to lawmakers not to drag him into the infighting at the House amid the speakership row.
Cayetano assured the President that the 2021 budget will be passed on time “despite all the noise.” He also assured that all actions the House has taken so far are “legal, constitutional, and in line with time-honored precedence in the House.
“Neither I nor the other members of Congress will sacrifice the budget in this critical time, for political expediency,” he said.
He also apologized once more to the President for “adding anxiety to an already uncertain situation.”
In an unprecedented move, the House on Tuesday terminated the deliberations on the 2021 budget bill, upon Cayetano’s motion, and approved it on second reading, even though there are still departments and agencies that are yet to be tackled on the plenary floor.
Cayetano, likewise, moved to create a committee “with full powers to entertain committee as well as individual amendments by the members to be submitted to the committee on appropriations on or before November 5.”
The House Speaker said proposed amendments shall be submitted to the created committee until November 5.
“We understand the fears and concerns, but we are confident that history’s judgment will show our intentions to be for the country,” Cayetano said.