Senate aims to pass 2022 budget by first week of December

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 2) — The Senate wants to pass the ₱5.024-trillion national budget for 2022 by the first week of December, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Monday.

Sotto also said plenary debates will start after the upper chamber resumes session on Nov. 8.

The House of Representatives transmitted the proposed budget to the Senate on Oct. 25, two days ahead of deadline.

House Bill No. 10153, or the 2022 General Appropriations Bill, was approved on final reading on Sept. 30 after Duterte certified it as urgent.

Based on the calendar for the 2022 budget from the Committee on Finance led by Senator Sonny Angara, the target date for approval on third reading is Nov. 25. This will be followed by the Bicameral Conference, and its report is scheduled to be signed on Dec. 9 before a final version of the spending bill is printed for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.

It is considered as the biggest budget in the country’s history as it intends to fight COVID-19 and help the economy get back on track.

Chunk of the 2022 allocation will go to the Department of Education (₱773.6 billion) followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (₱686.1 billion) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (₱250.4 billion). The Department of Health, the lead agency in addressing the health crisis, will get ₱242 billion.