Martin Speaker Martin G. Romualdez delivers Friday morning his preliminary remarks during the House of Representatives’ first hearing on the proposed P5.268-trillion 2023 “Agenda for Prosperity” national budget. Members of the Development Budget Coordination Committee brief the House Committee on Appropriations on the state of the economy and the macroeconomic parameters the Executive branch used in putting together next year’s spending program. Photos by VER NOVENO

Romualdez: Budget to ensure PH’s growth

August 26, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 179 views


SPEAKER Martin G. Romualdez on Friday morning assured the nation that the House of Representatives would ensure that the proposed P5.268-trillion 2023 “Agenda for Prosperity” national budget sustains the country’s economic growth amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Romualdez made the assurance at the start of the House deliberations on the first full-year budget proposal submitted by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to Congress last Monday.

The process kicked off with a briefing by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) composed of Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority, and Governor Felipe Medalla of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

“We will make sure that each bit of spending will contribute to our goal of reigniting the fires of our economic forges, and at least propel the country to reach economic growth at pre-pandemic levels,” Romualdez said.

“Every centavo of this national budget will be spent wisely to implement projects and programs putting primordial consideration into saving lives; building and protecting communities; and making our economy strong and more agile,” Romualdez said.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s economy as measured by the gross domestic product posted a stellar growth of 8.2 percent in the first quarter and 7.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022.

The Speaker said President Marcos’ spending proposal “is a conservative budget, where fiscal discipline is harmonized with growth and recovery from the impact of the lingering Covid-19 pandemic.”

“The challenges ahead of us may be daunting, and we shall rely on the brilliance of this administration’s economic team to usher us in sustaining the economic progress achieved by its predecessor,” he added.

The Speaker thanked the DBCC members, who also comprise the President’s economic team, for attending the first House budget hearing.

“To guarantee a sustained track for transformation, the President brought a highly qualified and well-prepared economic team,” he said.

Romualdez urged each House member to participate actively in the deliberation and approval process for the proposed 2023 budget, which he said addresses the Marcos administration’s eight-point economic agenda contained in the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework.

“Foremost is to ensure food security by pouring in precise intervention to increase food production and reduce cost, in addition to lowering transport, logistics, and energy cost to protect the purchasing power of the consumers,” he stressed.

He pointed out that Malacañang’s decision to avail of the 30-day constitutional period within which to present a national budget to Congress enabled it to “review and incorporate the eight-point socioeconomic agenda in the 2023 proposed budget prepared by the previous administration.”

The Speaker also thanked the House committee on appropriations chaired by Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Zaldy Co for “acting with dispatch” on the proposed budget.

“I am confident with the leadership of the committee on appropriations and the overwhelming support of its members, that we shall be able to pass this budget expeditiously without sacrificing the independence of the House of Representatives,” Romualdez said as he also thanked the panel’s senior vice chairperson, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo.

“Let’s buckle down to work, and with a united front, we shall be able to deliver the necessary tools and resources to improve the lives of the Filipino people and uplift their hope for a better quality of life,” he said.