House assures timely passage of DAP-free 2015 national budget
The House leadership assured yesterday that Malacanang’s proposed P2.6-trillion national budget for 2015 would be approved on time and be free of provisions similar to initiatives of the Disbursement Acceleration Program that were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. and Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said the House is keeping its tradition of passing the Executive’s proposed national budget on time.
“Certainly, we will try to pass it on time. We are committed to ensure that the country’s economic upward trajectory will continue. Providing basic services to the needy is a matter of the utmost importance,” Belmonte said, a few days after embattled Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad Jr. presented the proposed budget to President Aquino and fellow Cabinet members.
The 2015 proposed budget is set to be transmitted to Congress, a day after Aquino delivers his fifth State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on July 28.
Belmonte said they would ensure that the spending bill would be ready for the President’s signature on January 1, 2015.
Ungab said the new appropriations would be passed by December with social protection and services among the priorities.
“We intend to pass the budget on time so that the national government will have an approved budget on the first day of 2015,” he said.
He said that Congress would not allow DAP-like initiatives in the new fiscal proposal.
“Congress will abide by the SC ruling. The recent ruling is clear. What has been declared unconstitutional cannot be done anymore during budget execution,” Ungab said.
“No more DAP clones or any kind of similar schemes in the national budget next year,” he said.