Senate approves 2018 national budget
Voting 16-0, the Senate approved on second and third reading Wednesday night the proposed P3.76-trillion national budget for 2018, almost a third of which had been appropriated to finance the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
The bicameral conference committee will convene immediately to reconcile the conflicting provisions in the Senate and House of Representatives’ with an eye on coming up with the final version before Congress’ scheduled recess on Dec. 14.
The Senate’s approval of its version came two months after the House passed it’s version last Sept. 26.
The education sector received the so-called lion’s share at P691.1 billion followed by the infrastructure sector which had been pegged at P643.3 billion.
Among those who voted on the bill sponsored by Sen. Loren Legarda were Senators Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Win Gatchalian, Gringo Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Ralph Recto, Vicente Sotto III, Joel Villanueva, Cynthia Villar, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
Legarda described the approved budget as “compassionate” as it addressed the needs the needs of the people like the military and uniformed personnel.
She said the budget would also give social protection through the conditional cash transfer (CCT).