Senate ends debates on ₱5.768-T 2024 budget

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 21) — The Senate concluded early Tuesday its plenary deliberations on the proposed ₱5.768-trillion national spending for next year.

Lawmakers in the upper chamber finished the session at 4:42 a.m., according to a statement from Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

"Katatapos lang namin ang pagsara ng period of debates ng 2024 national budget… Dalawang linggo ng marathon sessions na nagtatapos ng madaling araw, araw-araw," he said.

[Translation: We have just finished closing the period of debates of the 2024 national budget… Two weeks of marathon sessions that end early in the morning, every day.]

Deliberations on the budget started early this month.

One of the highlights was the scrapping of confidential funds earlier earmarked for the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education.

READ: Pimentel: No assurance OVP, DepEd secret funds will not be restored in bicam

On Monday, senators also decided to realign the ₱300 million confidential funds of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Senator Sonny Angara, who chairs the Committee on Finance, said senators are set to submit their proposed amendments to the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) this week.

"I think the approval on second and third reading, most likely next week, Monday na," he told reporters.

Certified as urgent by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the GAB can undergo the second and third reading on the same day, dispensing the three-day rule.