Senate approves P5.7 trillion national budget for 2024
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate yesterday approved on third and final reading the P5.768-trillion proposed national budget for 2024, which is seen to strengthen local food production through modernization, mechanization and improved logistics as well as defend sovereignty and protect Filipinos against any threat or violence.
With 21 affirmative and no negative votes and one abstention, senators approved the proposed national budget, which will be discussed in the bicameral conference committee before it will be ratified and submitted to President Marcos for signature.
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said he abstained as he questioned “the basic issue of the propriety of the certification of the President of a bill, which is in the regular course of the business of the legislature every year.”
“So I will not object anymore and just make a manifestation of my continuing objection to the use of a presidential certification for the budget when I do not see any emergency or calamity right before us, which will be addressed by the many certifications,” Pimentel said.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri designated senators to be part of the bicam members, to help harmonize the conflicting provisions of the 2024 budget with the House of Representatives. The date of the bicam has yet to be set.
Headed by Sen. Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee, the bicam members are senators Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada, Sherwin Gatchalian, Bong Go, Risa Hontiveros, Loren Legarda, Imee Marcos, Grace Poe, Bato dela Rosa, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar and Mark Villar.
The Senate and the House are targeting to submit the final copy of the budget to the Office of the President by Dec. 10, and expect Marcos to sign it by mid-December.
Marcos is likely to sign into law the P5.768-trillion budget before he leaves for Japan in December, according to Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
“Most likely because I was talking to the liaison officer. The budget has been approved, so they (lawmakers) will go into (bicameral) conference committee by December first, and there’s enough time before the President leaves,” Diokno told journalists at