2018 national budget among priorities of Lower House Print
Thursday, 20 July 2017 16:34

By Dexter Yap

House leaders today identified some of the legislative priorities of the House of Representatives for the Second Regular Session of the 17th Congress which include the 2018 national budget, charter change leading to the shift to federalism, and the civil union proposal.

House Committee on Public Works Chairman and Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairman Hon. Celso L. Lobregat cited the House accomplishments during the First Regular Session and bared the chamber’s priorities for the Second Regular Session of the 17th Congress which opens when Congress convenes on July 24 for the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lobregat said a primary importance during the Second Regular Session will be the proposed national budget of 2018.

“As the Chairman of the Committee on Public Works in Congress, the Duterte administration marks the most massive infrastructure program, and such a massive infrastructure undertaking will need the support of a budget that will support all of these infrastructures that will be built throughout the entire country, not just in Metro Manila or in Luzon but these are to be seen from Luzon, Visayas, up to Mindanao,” Lobregat said.

The House will also tackle the supplemental budget for the Marawi rehabilitation as revealed by President Duterte. With the armed conflict in Marawi City transforming into a humanitarian crisis and even an infrastructure crisis, restoring normalcy in the lives of displaced residents, reviving local commerce, and rebuilding homes in the city have become a necessity for the executive and legislative branches.

Last week, Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the proposed national budget for 2018, which was approved by the President, amounts to P3.767 trillion. It would also include P10 billion for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, he said. – Dexter Yap