House can pass budget on time, says committee head

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 23 2019 11:30 AM

MANILA -- The House can pass future national budgets on time, the head of Congress' appropriations committee said Tuesday, adding he would avoid a repeat of the delayed passage of this year's spending plan.

During his previous stints as chairman of the budget-writing committee, Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab said the General Appropriations Act was passed on time for 3 straight years.

"I come from the banking sector and my background is on finance so I could easily distinguish between an insertion and passing through usual procedures," Ungab told ABS-CBN News.

Gross domestic product growth in the January to March period was at its slowest in 4 years after the delayed passage of the 2019 budget dragged on government spending.

Arguments among lawmakers over alleged insertions in the budget bill delayed its passage.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano wants budget deliberations this year to be "really fast," Ungab said.

"With my experience I’m sure we can handle, we can manage. We will deliver," he said.

The House is expected to received the 2020 budget proposal from the Executive Branch in 2 weeks, Cayetano earlier told reporters.