HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez yesterday appealed to his colleagues to only speak within their allotted time and ask relevant questions during budget floor debates to ensure the swift passage of the proposed 2020 P4.1 trillion national expenditure program (NEP).
Romualdez, who chairs the House Committee on Rules, made his appeal as the House of Representatives begins tomorrow its two-week marathon hearings to approve House Bill (HB) No. 4228 or the Fiscal Year 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
The House leader said he is “banking on the professionalism and discipline of my colleagues who will not do any showing off at the expense of the proposed national budget.
“The House leadership under Speaker (Alan Peter) Cayetano is appealing once again to our colleagues to help us approve the national spending measure immediately,” said Romualdez, adding he expects many of his colleagues to attend the sessions devoted to the national budget.
“Our national budget for next year will give a very strong foundation to ensure the successful implementation of President Duterte’s programs with sustainable and equitable growth that would provide comfortable life for Filipinos,” said Romualdez. Romualdez, Deputy Speakers Neptali Gonzales II of Mandaluyong City, Raneo Abu of Batangas, and LRay Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, and Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, thanked their colleagues who responded to their call of duty to help in the study and review of the budget proposals of the different government departments and agencies to determine the necessity of their programs and projects.
“We thank the cooperation of our colleagues and heads of various government agencies and departments, resulting to the early completion of our budget deliberations at the committee level,” said Romualdez.
“The truth is, through the initiative of Speaker Cayetano, we were able to advance the schedule of the plenary debates. Thanks also to our House leaders and colleagues,” said Gonzales.
“We will work very hard to pass the national budget. There are lots of government programs and projects whose effective implementation are relying on the passage of the national budget like the salary of our state employees, social and basic services and continuation of infrastructure projects identified as priority projects in President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program,” said Abu.
For his part, Villafuerte said “the House leadership under Speaker Cayetano is fully committed to having the 2020 GAB acted upon in a timely manner and for all committee and plenary deliberations on this bill fully transparent and in keeping with the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling against so-called pork barrel funds for legislators.”