Plenary debates on 2024 budget bill to start on Sept. 19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) — The plenary deliberations on the proposed ₱5.768-trillion national budget for 2024 will begin on Sept. 19, with the House of Representatives targeting its passage on final reading before the end of the month.

The House Appropriations Committee wrapped up briefings on the budget proposals of different government agencies on Tuesday, barely a month after the Department of Budget and Management submitted the National Expenditure Program to Congress.

Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo, senior vice chairperson of the Appropriations Committee, said the House leadership aims to finish the plenary debates on Sept. 27. Ranking members of the panel will meet on Thursday to finalize the schedule of deliberations and the committee report on the General Appropriations Bill (GAB)

Quimbo said it’s too early to disclose the amounts that could be realigned under the GAB, saying these will be determined after the plenary debates are finished.

"Mahirap magsalita at this point. Syempre baka magtampo ang mga ahensya. At the same time, may plenary debates pa naman. So wag muna natin i-judge at this point in time. Kasi yung pagkilatis mangyayari pa sa plenary debates," she said.

[Translation: It's hard to disclose it right now because some agencies might raise issues. There will be plenary debates where it will be scrutinized so let's not judge it right now.]

Appropriations Committee Chairman and Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co, in a statement, vowed the GAB’s timely passage before the House adjourns on Sept. 29 for a month-long break.