Sotto: Senate budget approval eyed next week, bicam ratification by Dec. 10

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — After concluding plenary deliberations on the proposed ₱5.024-trillion budget for 2022, the Senate is planning to pass the measure as early as Dec. 1 and have it ratified with the bicameral panel nine days after, Senate President Tito Sotto III said on Wednesday.

"By Dec. 1 hopefully, as far as Senate is concerned," Sotto told CNN Philippines' The Source, when asked about the chamber’s target date.

Amendments to the committee version of the spending plan will now be made before its second and third reading in the Senate. The upper chamber wrapped up its plenary debates on Tuesday evening.

Sotto said after the budget approval, he would delegate senators to be part of the bicameral conference committee.

"Ang prediction namin would be seven to 10 days ang bicam between the House and us (Our prediction is, the bicameral conference between the House of Representatives and us would take seven to 10 days). That would mean by Dec. 10 or 11 at the most, we would be ratifying the bicameral conference committee report," he said.

After the ratification of the reconciled version of both chambers, the 2022 General Appropriations Bill will be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature.

"That would give the President enough time to review before Dec. 17, if he plans to sign it by Dec. 17," Sotto said.

Congress will adjourn session by then for the Christmas break from Dec. 18, 2021 to Jan. 16, 2022.