Congress eyes Duterte approval of 2019 budget by Valentine's Day

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2019 08:01 PM

MANILA- The two chambers of Congress convened Tuesday the bicameral conference committee to tackle the proposed 2019 national budget.

The Senate and the House of Representatives started to reconcile differences in their respective versions of the proposed P3.757-trillion budget.

“The Senate and the House have agreed to use the NEP (National Expenditures Program) as reference and meet halfway on the amendments of the respective chambers," Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance said.

Legarda added that their goal was to approve the budget before session is adjourned on Feb. 6 and to have President Rodrigo Duterte sign it by Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. 

“We hope to be able to immediately reconcile the differences between the House and Senate version so that we may approve the budget within the remaining session days that we have," Legarda said.

Senators who attended Tuesday's meeting were Legarda, Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, JV Ejercito and Nancy Binay.

Congressmen Rolando Andaya Jr., Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Arthur Yap, Edcel Lagman, Maria Carmen Zamora, Rodante Marcoleta, Federico Sandoval II, and Anthony Bravo meanwhile represented the House panel.