Malacanang hopes that Congress could soon approve the P2 trillion budget for 2013 as well as the Freedom of Information Bill to boost the economy and give the public easier access to government information.
In a radio interview Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte thanked lawmakers for prioritizing the budget deliberations.
“It seems that both Houses are making good time on deliberating on the budget, we thank our legislators for that. And mukha namang on track naman katulad nung mga earlier pronouncements ni Speaker Belmonte at ni Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that they will be paying due attention to the budget. And so far, we are on track for the deliberation,” Valte said.
With regards to the Freedom of Information Bill, Valte said the Palace hopes that discussions go well when lawmakers meet this October to tackle the bill. Valte said it’s a good development that the congressional committee will be hearing again the FOI Bill.
Both Rep. Erin Tanada, the author of the FOI Bill in the House, and Senate committee chair Sen. Gregorio Honasan, have essentially adopted the draft coming from the Palace. Valte said many provisions of the Malacanang draft were adopted by the House and the Senate.
The House of Representatives on Thursday night approved on second reading the proposed P2 trillion national budget for 2013 aimed at boosting the country’s economic growth.
The 2013 budget is similar to last year’s with the biggest chunk of the funding going to the Department of Education with P292.7 billion, which is 22.6 percent more than this year’s P238.8 billion.
DepEd is followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways, P152.9 billion; Department of National Defense, P121.6 billion; Department of Interior and Local Government, P121.1 billion; Department of AgricultureP74.1 billion; Department of Health (DoH), P56.8 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development, P56.2 billion; Department of Transportation and Communications, P37.1 billion; Department of Finance, P33.2 billion; and Department of Environment and Natural Resources, P23.7 billion.