DEPUTY Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera has urged the Senate to take quick action after the House of Representatives transmitted its approved version of the P5.024-trillion national budget for 2022 ahead of schedule.
“We appeal to our senators to swiftly pass the 2022 national budget that is expected to help the country recover and emerge stronger from the COVID 2019 (coronavirus disease-19) pandemic,” Herrera said.
The BH Party-list lawmaker made the appeal after the House transmitted its version of the General Appropriations Bill to the Senate last October 25, two days ahead of the target date set by the lower chamber.
Herrera thanked Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, House committee on appropriations chairman and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap, and all the members of both the majority and minority blocs for the swift and smooth passage of the budget bill.
“This really shows the collective commitment and resolve of the House of Representatives to help Filipinos and the economy recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic by ensuring uninterrupted delivery of government services,” Herrera said.
She added: “The House of the People has done its job. We now await our friends from the Senate to do theirs.”
Herrera expressed optimism that “the Senate, under the able leadership of Finance Committee Chair Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara, will be able to pass its own version in a timely manner.”
“The ideal timeline is for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to sign the budget bill into law before Christmas,” Herrera added.
Herrera echoed an earlier statement by Speaker Velasco about the importance of enacting the national budget before January 1, 2022 as a reenacted budget will surely dampen the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
The government’s pandemic response and economic recovery plan for the country remain the top priorities in the proposed 2022 General Appropriations Act, the last budget under the Duterte administration.