Salceda defends House small panel for budget scrutiny

September 28, 2019

A HOUSE leader has defended the creation of a Small Committee to study the proposed 2020 national budget.

In a statement, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, vice chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said that it was the plenary decision of the House of Representatives to create a Small Committee for institutional and individual amendments to the 2020 General Appropriations Bill.

According to Salceda, this was not the first time that the creation of Small Committee was resorted to.  

“This is for facility and for practical purposes.  Not all 299 Members of the House of Representatives can sit down together and finalize all the amendments to the bill,” Salceda said.

He added that delegating to a Small Committee some of the duties that the plenary could otherwise perform is a practice that has been done in the past years, as far back as the 8th Congress, when the House deliberates on the GAB.

The creation of a Small Committee is being questioned by some sectors since the proposed 2020 national budget was approved on third and final reading in the House of Representatives.

The 2020 national budget amounts to P4.1 trillion.

Salceda said what is of paramount importance is that the plenary authorized the Small Committee to receive and resolve amendments and that the Small Committee acts within the purview of the authority conferred upon it by the plenary.

“We appeal to the Senate to observe inter-parliamentary courtesy and allow us to do our work first,” Salceda said.

“Their turn to scrutinize the budget bill will come when we formally transmit to them the printed copy of the 2020 GAB on October 1,” Salceda said.