House of Representatives sends ₱5.024-T budget bill to Senate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 27) — The proposed national budget for 2022 is now up for deliberation and approval by the Senate.

The House of Representatives said the ₱5.024-trillion spending plan was on schedule for enactment before the end of the year, following its early transmittal to the upper chamber last Monday or two days ahead of the deadline.

House Bill No. 10153 or the 2022 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) was approved on second and final reading in succession on Sept. 30, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte certified it as urgent.

"We hope to give our senators reasonable time to scrutinize and pass their own GAB, as we look forward to the bicameral conference where we can thresh out and reconcile the differing provisions of the House and Senate versions,” Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said on Wednesday.

Velasco reiterated there will be no reenacted budget next year.

"We cannot afford a reenacted budget, which is expected to dampen the country's recovery from the COVID-19 crisis," he said. "[It] will definitely ruin our efforts to build back better and deliver much-needed services for our kababayans (countrymen)."

The budget, the highest in Philippine history, is intended for beating COVID-19 and putting the economy back on growth track.

A chunk of it will go to the Department of Education, which is set to receive ₱773.6 billion.

It is followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways with ₱686.1 billion and the Department of the Interior and Local Government with ₱250.4 billion.

The Department of Health will only get about ₱242 billion, although it is the lead agency in pandemic response.

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.