MANILA- The Senate on Thursday vowed to hold marathon sessions to ensure the timely passage of the P3.767-trillion 2018 proposed national budget, aiming to submit the final version to the President before Christmas.
Sen. Loren Legarda, the Senate finance committee chair, said her panel is ready to sponsor the 2018 General Approporiations Bill to the Senate floor next week so the chamber could proceed to plenary discussions before a month-long break in October.
The chamber on Wednesday received the House of Representatives’ version of the GAB, following its passage on third reading on Tuesday.
“Upon submission of the subcommittee reports of my vice chairpersons, we will file and sponsor the committee report next week and we will conduct marathon sessions so we can finish the budget interpellations of all agencies before session adjourns on October 12 for a one-month break,” Legarda said in a statement Thursday.
She said the chamber hopes to pass the bill on second and third reading when the session resumes in November. The bicameral conference committee shall then proceed to reconciling the Senate and House versions of the budget.
“We aim to submit the 2018 GAB to the President on the second week of December and, hopefully, enacted way ahead before Christmas," the lawmaker said.
"This way, agencies would have time to plan the execution of approved projects and programs before the holidays. Hopefully, this would help in the early disbursement of funds and a more efficient obligation,” Legarda said.