House OKs 1st trillion-peso budget in RP history
Quezon City (13 October) -- AFTER more than 18 hours of a marathon session that lasted till dawn this Friday, the House of Representatives approved the "first trillion-peso budget in Philippine history."
Voting 198-7, with no abstention, on third and final reading, the House approved the 2007 General Appropriations Act (GAA), giving the government a budget of P1.126 trillion next year.
The opposition group pulled a surprise when it proposed an addition of P550 million to the P974-million budget of the Office of the Ombudsman.
It also suggested a one-peso budget for the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, which sought a budget of P31.9 million.
The Cabinet departments that will get the highest allocations are the Department of Education; Department of Public Works and Highways with P73.6 billion, Department of Interior and Local Government with P51.1 billion, Department of National Defense with P49.5 billion, and the Department of Agriculture with P18.5 billion, including a component for its Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Program.
The Department of Transportation and Communications will get P17.5 billion; the Department of Agrarian Reform, P15.6 billion; and the Department of Health, P11.7 billion.
The Commission on Elections will get P9.8 billion.
The judiciary will get P9.7 billion.
In allocations by sector, social services will get the most with P329.382 billion, followed by interest payments with P328.733 billion and economic services with P223.173 billion.
De Venecia said he hoped that with the approval by the House, the Senate would do its part after the resumption of Congress in November so it could have ample time to debate and approve the budget before Christmas. (PIA) [top]