August 4, 2011
SENATE STARTS 2012 BUDGET DELIBERATIONS
The Senate will start the deliberations on the proposed P1.816 trillion 2012 national outlay next week, Senator Franklin Drilon said Thursday, putting forward a plan that would allow legislators to approve the budget before yearend.
Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) is scheduled to conduct a briefing with the senators on August 8 to discuss the country's macroeconomic targets and the overview of the budget.
"I have sent out the invitations to the secretaries of Budget, Finance, National Economic and Development Authority and the governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas," Drilon stated.
He said that committee hearings of the individual budgets of the national government agencies will be conducted from August 10-October 12, adding that the chamber expects the General Appropriations Bill to be transmitted to the Senate on October 11.
"I would target that I would be sponsoring the budget on November 15," he said, noting that plenary debates should have been completed on November 22 which is also the date of the simultaneous approval on second and third reading.
A bicameral conference committee that would reconcile differences in the Senate and the House versions of the budget would be convened on November 23-28, he said.
He said the approval by the chamber of the bicameral conference committee report is on December 1, just before just before the legislature adjourns for the Christmas break.
"We will diligently work for the passage of the budget so that before the year ends so that by January 1, we will have an approved national budget for 2012," he said.
The 2012 budget represents 16.5% of the country's gross domestic product and is higher by 10.4% than the current year's budget of P1.645 trillion. The House of Representatives has already initiated budget hearings early this week.
Social Services sector continues to receive the lion's share of 31.7% or P575.8 billion of the budget, while economic services has a 24.2% share or P438.9 billion.
Share of debt servicing in the 2012 budget has been reduced to 19.6% or P356.1 billion from 22.6% or P372.1 billion in this year's outlay. General public services and defense sectors receive shares of 18.3% or P332.1 billion and 6.2% or P113.1 billion, respectively.
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