Marcos certifies proposed 2024 budget bill as urgent

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. certified as urgent the ₱5.768-trillion budget bill for 2024, which the House of Representatives committed to approve next week.

In a letter to House Speaker Martin Romualdez on Wednesday, Marcos said the immediate enactment of House Bill 8980, or the proposed General Appropriations Act of 2024, is necessary to maintain continuous government operations after the end of the current fiscal year (FY).

He said there is a need to “expedite the funding of various programs, projects, and activities for FY 2024” and "ensure budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its constitutional mandate."

The urgent certification will allow approval of the measure on second and final reading on the same day.

The chamber began plenary deliberations on Tuesday, with the session lasting over 12 hours.

Romualdez said the House will do all it can to pass the bill on final reading by Sept. 27, the last day of deliberations, although sessions could continue until Sept. 29 if needed.

In an earlier interview, the lawmaker said they intend to come out with a bicameral conference committee report by around end-November, adding he hopes Marcos will be able to sign the measure before Christmas.

“‘Yung sa ginagawa po natin binibigyan natin ang ating mga kapatid sa Senado ng sufficient time to review and to actually introduce amendments para maba-bicam natin by end of November, December, in time for the signing of the President before Christmas,” the Speaker said.

[Translation: What we’re doing is we’re giving our colleagues in the Senate sufficient time to review and to actually introduce amendments, so there would be a (bicameral conference committee report) by the end of November, (or by) December, in time for the signing of the President before Christmas.]