Zubiri hopes to have 2020 budget approved before December

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Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said Congress will work on having the budget signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before December this year.

"Definitely we'll try to pass the budget earlier this time," he said.

A squabble between the Senate and the House of Representatives over illegal insertions in the 2019 budget caused a delay in its passage, which impinged on the implementation of various government projects.

The government had to operate for four months on a reenacted 2018 budget before Duterte signed the General Appropriations Bill in April.

Delays in the budget passage resulted in slower economic growth for the first quarter of the year.

"I can never shortguess what my 23 other colleagues are thinking, but definitely we'll try to come up with a budget approval before December," Zubiri said.

Budget Officer-in-Charge Janet Abuel earlier said they will wait until Congress' leadership is settled before they formally submit the President's National Expenditure Program to the House of Representatives. The Budget department has until August 21 to do that.