October 17, 2020
Malacanang thanked the House of Representatives for passing the proposed 2021 national budget on third and final reading Friday.
''We thank the House of Representatives for passing on third and final reading the 2021 General Appropriations Bill on time or within the special session called by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,'' said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, in a separate statement, said the House's approval ''will go a way in helping support and realize the Duterte administration's outlined undertakings, responses, programs for our collective recovery from the adverse impact of COVID-19.''
After four days of deliberations, the House under Speaker Lord Allan Velasco passed the proposed P4.506 trillion national budget as 257 lawmakers voted for while six were against.
Duterte last week ordered Congress to convene a special session after the battle for the speakership between Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Velasco threatened to delay the passage of the budget.
On Monday, a group of 186 lawmakers voted to install Velasco as speaker. On Tuesday, Cayetano tendered his resignation as speaker.
Duterte met Velasco and Cayetano to stress the importance of passing the budget, which the government will tap to respond to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
''The Chief Executive has in many occasions articulated the importance of the timely passage of the budget, given that we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic where we need resources to fund government interventions to mitigate the adverse effects of the virus,'' said Roque.
Roque said the Palace hopes the House of Representatives will send its printed or soft copy of the General Appropriations Bill to the Senate soonest so it can act on this measure, which Duterte certified as urgent. DMS
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