Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, today said that the Senate will prioritize the passage of the proposed 2019 national budget when session resumes on Monday, January 14.
Legarda said that the Senate will continue to hold marathon sessions to ensure immediate approval of the 2019 budget.
Upon resumption of session, the budget of the following agencies will be subject to plenary debates: Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Immigration, Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO), and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
The Senate aims to approve the budget by January 21, to be followed by the convening of a bicameral conference committee, then the approval of the bicameral report by both the House and the Senate before the last day of session on February 6.
"We aim to have the budget signed by the President by the second week of February," said Legarda.
Legarda also assured that the Senate will pass a budget that is geared towards improved programs and services for the people, gradually eliminating underspending.
"While pressed for time, we will perform our duty to pass a budget that is geared towards our collective desire to provide our people with programs and services that would usher in personal growth, community development and national progress. We want to ensure that every peso from the people's taxes go back to them through actual delivery of services and programs," Legarda concluded.