Smooth sailing for 2018 budgets of several agencies Print
Saturday, 09 September 2017 16:17

The House of Representatives terminated the plenary interpellation on the proposed 2018 budgets of several government agencies after nobody grilled their sponsors during the floor deliberations.

Interpellation on the proposed budgets of the following agencies were immediately terminated since no one questioned Rep. Mark Aaron Sambar (Party-list, PBA) who sponsored the proposed budgets for the National Youth Commission (NYC), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), Games and Amusement Board (GAB), Philippine Racing Commission (PHILRACOM), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

The House also approved the budget of the scandal-rocked Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) but only in the amount of P1,000 as sponsored by Rep. Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City). The ERC has a proposed budget of P365 million.

Earlier in the day, House members inquired about the budgets of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Congressman Lobregat, who is also the chairman of the Committee on Public Works in the House of Representatives also said 172 plantilla positions, particularly for engineers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), were created.

Committee on appropriations chairman, Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City) also assured during the interpellation by Minority Leader Danilo Suarez that the Duterte administration does not practice underspending. He said the expenditures of all government agencies are being closely and strictly monitored.

Rep. Lobregat cited that the total national debt is only P6.4 trillion, one of the lowest foreign debts in the world.

He explained that foreign borrowing is important in funding investments now which will be beneficial to the people in the future.

President Rodrigo Duterte has proposes a total of P3.767 trillion national budget for 2018, with the biggest allocation granted to education and infrastructure development.

The second national budget crafted under the Duterte administration, the 2018 budget represents 21.6% of the projected gross domestic product (GDP) for next year and is 12.4% higher than the 2017 budget which is P3.35 trillion.

The proposed budget will continue to support the bold plans of the Duterte administration and deliver the change that the present administration has promised. – Dexter Yap