Duterte certifies 2020 national budget as urgent

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the bill on the 2020 national budget.

In a letter to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano dated September 17, Duterte certified "the necessity of the immediate enactment" of House Bill No 4228, the bill appropriating funds for the government for January 1 to December 31, 2020.

A photo of the letter was sent to reporters by the Office of House Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez.

The same letter was sent to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Earlier on Wednesday, Albay Representative Joey Salceda expressed confidence that the House of Representatives would pass the 2020 national budget on September 20, or a month after the executive submitted the National Expenditure Program to Congress.

"This is, in history, for those of you who have covered Congress, this will be the earliest [budget approval]. We just want to prove that the ‘Duterte Super Coalition’ in the House is working, and I hope the so-called ‘Duterte Super Coalition of 20’ in the Senate will do the same," said Salceda.

In 2019, the national budget's approval was delayed, causing the government to operate on a reenacted budget. Duterte himself was dismayed by this and blamed the budget reenactment for delayed infrastructure and lower economic growth.

His allies in Congress are determined to prevent a repeat. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.