The Senate kicked off on Wednesday the marathon plenary debates on the proposed House Bill No. 8980 or the 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA) sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara as the chairperson of the Committee on Finance.
The measure, which contains the detailed expenditure of the proposed PHP5.768 trillion that will be spent by the national government next year, was cited by Angara as a “clearer vision of the Marcos Administration on how to encourage growth, slash poverty, narrow the budget deficit and reduce debt, jumpstart the economy’s transformation, and cement the country’s status as an upper middle-income nation.”
“The general aim is still to pursue the agenda for prosperity, framed by the eight-point socioeconomic agenda of the administration (which includes Food Security, Improved Transportation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Health Care, Education, Social Services, Sound Financial Management, and Bureaucratic Efficiency), buttressed by the Medium-Term Fiscal Work (MTFF) that Congress adopted early on, and encapsulated by the 2022 – 2028 Philippine Development Plan,” Angara said in his sponsorship speech on Tuesday.
“Sa madaling salita, napapaloob sa panukalang badyet ang mga hakbang na nais tahakin ng gobyerno patungo sa isang bagong Pilipinas, kung saan matatag, maginhawa, at panatag ang buhay para sa bawat Pilipino (In other words, the proposed budget contains the steps that the government wants to take going to a new Philippines, where the life of every Filipino is resilient, comfortable, and peaceful),” he added.
Angara said the proposed 2024 budget is equivalent to over 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and larger by 9.5 percent from the 2023 national budget.
Scheduled to be approved “on or before” Nov. 27 by the Senate, the Committee on Finance is poised to convene with counterparts in the House of Representatives to discuss the possible conflicting versions of the proposed 2024 budget on Nov. 29 and sign the bicameral committee report by Dec. 6.
The panel expects President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to sign the 2024 GAA by Dec. 16. (PNA)
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