Budget approval seen before Christmas

12/07/2010 - THE bicameral conference committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate will begin its work this week to come up with a final version of the 2011 budget. The committee hopes to approve the budget before the start of Congress’ Christmas break on December 15.

“As far as I’m informed of the chairman (of the appropriations committee), Congressman Jun Abaya, there are no big differences. So within two or three days, I think that they will be able to come up with a report that hopefully will be acceptable for both the House and Senate,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte told reporters.
“The Congress will adjourn for the Christmas season in the night of the 15th or possible up to the 16th and hopefully by that time, the budget would have been approved,” Belmonte said.

The House leader also wants the House contingent to the bicameral conference committee to bring the original figure on contraceptives back to P800 million. The Senate’s version of the budget bill slashed the P800 million amount for the distribution of free contraceptives to a measly P8 million.
“Sa tingin ko to reduce it to P8 million is virtually to eliminate the item already altogether, alam natin there is a way by which it can be augmented. I hope the House contingent will manage to get it if not up to the original figure pero substantially,” added Belmonte (Sun Star)

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