Press Release
September 6, 2006


Senate President Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, urges the House of Representatives to immediately tackle and pass the proposed P1.137 trillion national budget for 2007 in order for the Senate to have sufficient time to deliberate on it.

At this early, we are reminding our colleagues in the Lower House to fast-track the 2007 budget deliberation. We want to avoid a repeat of what happened in the last few yearsa delay on their part in transmitting the national budget to us, says Villar.

Villar adds, We expect the House to approve its version of the 2007 budget within two months, so that the Senate can start scrutinizing the proposed budget by early November and have it passed before the Congress goes into Christmas break.

Malacañang , in a turnover ceremony, submitted to the Lower House its proposed budget on August 23. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee vowed to tackle the budget in the plenary by the second week of October and deliver the budget to the Senate by November 1.

According to Villar, If the House can submit to us its approved version of the 2007 budget by the first week of November, then we would have sufficient time to discuss it and prevent another reenacted budget. Thats the way its supposed to be anyway, so we can have a new budget at the start of 2007.

To recall, last year, due to the delayed transmittal of the 2006 budget of the Lower House to the Senate, the senators were given only four weeks to pass the budget. The Lower House took nearly nine months from August 24, 2005 to April 5, 2006to approve the said budget.

The Senate received the approved House version of the 2006 budget a day before Congress adjourned for the Lenten break in April. However, the Senate managed to finish its own version in a months time, with a cut of P64 billion, which both Malacañang and the House rejected. This impasse resulted in the reenactment of the 2005 budget.

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