![IMG-037a95615bcb9c51bd09a96268e74dca-V-01.jpeg](https://storage.googleapis.com/mb-mkt-neo-prod-1-uploads/IMG_037a95615bcb9c51bd09a96268e74dca_V_01_90e235aa76/IMG_037a95615bcb9c51bd09a96268e74dca_V_01_90e235aa76.jpeg) House of Representatives (Ellson Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

This early, House Speaker Martin Romualdez has guaranteed the swift approval of another proposed national budget, this time for the year 2024. According to the House of Representatives chieftain, five weeks of "solid work" should be enough to complete the chamber’s work on the national budget, the precursor of which is the National Expenditure Program (NEP). "May balita na ang DBM (Department of Budget and Management) ay magsu-sumite ng ating 2024 budget na NEP, National Expenditure Program, a week after the SONA (State of the Nation Address)," Romualdez said in an an interview Saturday afternoon, July 22 in Makati City. (There's news that the DBM will submit the 2024 budget or the NEP a week after the SONA.) President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will deliver his second SONA on Monday, July 24. SONA day will signal the start of the second regular session and also the House members' wait on the NEP. "Pag nangyari po yan, sigurado tatapusin natin yung budget before the break, our October break (If that happens, for sure we will finish the budget before the break, our October break). "Kaya (That's why) we average at least five weeks of solid work on the budget deliberations, considerations, and review and approval through the third reading," Romualdez said. The budget process in the House--which possesses the power of the purse--typically begins with hearings by the Committee on Appropriations on the individual budgets of the different departments and agencies. Apparently, the House had already carried out what Romualdez called "pre-NEP consultations" with various departments even before the sine die adjournment of the first regular session last May 31. "So we are confident with the processes and protocols and the procedures that we have na matatapos natin and ating national budget 2024 (that we will be able to finish the national budget 2024), that is the most important piece of legislation," the Speaker said. The NEP 2024 is pegged at P5.768 trillion. In comparison, the enacted 2023 budget law--also known as the General Appropriations Act (GAA)--is worth P5.268 trillion, the largest national budget in Philippine history. It was the first full-year outlay of the Marcos administration. It's the goal of Philippine Congress to pass the budget measure before the end of a given year.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2023/7/22/done-in-5-weeks-house-leader-guarantees-quick-passage-of-2024-budget)