MANILA - The House of Representatives approved on second reading Tuesday the proposed P3.767 trillion national budget for 2018.
The General Appropriations Bill (GAB) will now be transmitted to the Senate, after which both chambers will convene a bicameral conference committee to reconcile differences between their respective versions.
"With its second reading passage, the GAB will undergo a period of amendments. From there, it will be put to a nominal vote for 3rd and final reading," said House Appropriations Committee chair Cong. Karlos Nograles.
The Davao solon said the bill will likely get approved on third and final reading on September 21.
The Department of Budget and Management welcomed the passage of the 2018 budget at the House, saying the spending program will support the government’s objectives of achieving robust and inclusive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 7 to 8 percent in 2018.
“We are optimistic of its progress in Congress and remain hopeful for its timely passage,” said Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
The 2018 budget is 12.4 percent higher than this year’s budget and amounts to 21.6 percent of the country's GDP. -- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News