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Senate ends plenary debates on proposed P5.268-T budget for 2023


The Senate terminated the plenary debates on the proposed P5.268-trillion budget for 2023 early Friday morning.

The upper chamber finished the debates on the 2023 General Appropriations Bill at around 1:41 a.m. Friday morning--almost two weeks after it was sponsored on the plenary last November 8.

On the last day of plenary debates, the chamber approved the budgets of the following departments and agencies under the Senate's version of the GAB:

  • P9.7 billion for Philippine Statistics Authority
  • P24.665 billion for the Department of Science and Technology
  • P193.343 million for National Commission on Senior Citizens
  • P35.463 billion for the Commission on Higher Education
  • P215.333 billion for the Department of Health
  • P26.154 billion for the Congress of the Philippines

Within the six-day plenary debates, the body has approved the funding of the following departments and agencies based on the Senate Finance committee report on the 2023 budget measure:

  • P8.9 billion for the Office of the President
  • P2.292 billion for the Office of the Vice President
  • P14.397 for the Department of Agrarian Reform
  • P102.193 billion for the Department of Agriculture
  • P1.737 billion for the Department of Budget and Management
  • P678.142 billion for the Department of Education
  • P97.447 billion for the state colleges and universities
  • P1.320 billion for the Department of Energy
  • P23.131 billion for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • P22.893 billion for the Department of Finance
  • P20.485 billion for the Department of Foreign Affairs
  • P1.501 billion for the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development
  • P8.732 billion for the Department of Information and Communications Technology
  • P252.580 for the Department of the Interior and Local Government
  • P27.948 billion for the Department of Justice
  • P49.223 billion for the Department of Labor and Employment
  • P16.094 billion for the Department of Migrant Workers
  • P232.304 billion for the Department of National Defense
  • P737.357 billion for the Department of Public Works and Highways
  • P210.631 billion for the Department of Social Welfare and Development
  • P3.645 billion for the Department of Tourism
  • P6.777 billion for the Department of Trade and Industry
  • P122.555 billion for the Department of Transportation
  • P12.759 for the National Economic and Development Authority
  • P1.040 billion for the Office of the Press Secretary
  • P52.218 billion for other executive offices
  • P53.370 for the Judiciary
  • P2.001 billion for the Civil Service Commission
  • P13.168 billion for the Commission on Audit
  • P6.487 billion for the Commission on Elections
  • P4.721 billion for the Office of the Ombudsman
  • P974.421 million for the Commission on Human Rights

After the period of interpellations on the 2023 GAB, the senators will introduce the committee and individual amendments on the measure.

After which, the chamber can approve it on second and third reading.

Since the 2023 GAB was earlier certified as urgent by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the Senate is allowed to approve the bill on second and third reading on the same day.

Once approved on third and final reading in the upper chamber, the lawmakers can proceed to the bicameral conference where the contingents from the House of Representatives and the Senate will reconcile the contradicting provisions of their versions of the GAB.

Last week, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said they are eyeing to pass on final reading the proposed 2023 national budget by November 23 and ratify it by the end of the month. -- BAP, GMA Integrated News

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