Press Release
August 3, 2012

Senate to start budget deliberations next week, says Drilon

The Senate will set in motion debates on the proposed P2.006-trillion 2013 national budget next week in order to ensure its passage before yearend, Senate Finance Committee chairman Franklin M. Drilon today announced.

Drilon said the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) will brief the senators on Monday on the National Expenditure Programs, in particular regarding the macro economic targets, revenue generation and expenditure programs, and the Aquino administration's priority spending in 2013, said Drilon.

After the two-days briefing, the Finance sub-committees will hold hearings on the proposed budgets of various national government departments as well as of government-owned and controlled corporations starting Wednesday, August 8, with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) being the first to be grilled.

The hearings by the sub-committees are expected to last until end of October creating ample time for Senate Floor Deliberations by November, said Drilon.

Drilon is also confident the Congress will be able to sustain the momentum it has gained for the last two years in passing the budget before year ends.

"In the past two years, we were able to pass the General Appropriations Acts before December 31 of each year, and if we were able to do it then, I am confident that we can do it again with the cooperation of everyone," Drilon said.

"Ito pong budget na ito ay talagang maganda at para sa tao dahil sa pamamagitan nito ay ibinabalik natin sa taumbayan kung ano ang karapat-dapat sa kanila," added Drilon.

"To pass the budget, the most important piece of legislation, on time is our solemn duty, because failure to do so will be a deprivation to every poor Juan Dela Cruz. Ang mga mahihirap nating kababayan ang pangunahing apektado kung hindi natin maipapasa ang budget dahil sila ang mukha ng budget, sila ang pangunahin nating pinaglalaanan ng budget," stressed Drilon.

Among the big items in the budget, the conditional cash transfer - the Aquino administration's flagship poverty alleviation program -is expected to get the attention of the legislators because of its huge allocation, noted Drilon.

Drilon said that the proposed budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development to implement the CCT in 2013 is P44.26 billion, an increase of 12.2 percent from its 2012 allocation of P39.45 billion.

The DBCC which prepares the national budget is composed of the Secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management as Chairman, and of the Department of Finance and the National Economic and Development Authority as members. The Office of the President is also a member, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas serves as a resource body.

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