Press Release
November 20, 2019

2020 budget to be passed on time - Sotto

THE Senate is on track in its calendar for the approval of the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, Senate President Vicente Sotto III yesterday said as the Senate resumed plenary deliberations on the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) approved and transmitted by the House of Representatives.

"It was submitted on time. We are right on track of our timetable without sacrificing important issues being raised in the different departments," Sotto said, noting that senators have been given plenty of time to bring up and clarify questionable or ambiguous provisions in the budget bill.

Sotto said plenary discussions on the budget measure, including the period of interpellation, individual amendments and committee amendments are expected to be completed by the last week of November.

Senators are eyeing the approval on second and third reading of the proposed GAB also by next week. The bicameral conference committee is expected to convene by the first week of December.

"The bicameral debates will be unpredictable. We expect healthy debates among members of the bicameral panel as they thresh out and reconcile the differences in our respective versions of the measure. We hope they will remain level-headed and open-minded during the discussions," Sotto said.

Congress is eyeing to have the proposed 2020 General Appropriations Act enacted and signed into law before lawmakers go on break for the holidays on December 20.

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