By Charmaine A. Tadalan, July 29 2018; Business World


Image Credit to Business World

THE House Committee on Appropriations has confirmed that Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo has transmitted the National Expenditure Program (NEP) in time for the budget hearings beginning Tuesday.

“The Office of the Speaker officially transmitted (the budget) to the Committee on Appropriations, so on Tuesday we can begin our hearings,” Committee chair Karlo Alexei B. Nograles told BusinessWorld in a phone interview Saturday.

Mr. Nograles also said “social services” and “infrastructure” will be the priority of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019.

Under the NEP, the education sector will receive the highest allocation with P659.3 billion, followed by infrastructure with P555.7 billion, and interior and local government with P225.6 billion.

The first sector to be subject to review is the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) which will discuss the proposed budgets of the Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Finance, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Mr. Nograles said in a statement Sunday.

Appropriations Committee Vice-Chair Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda said he is looking out for the DBCC’s “revenue forecast and underlying assumptions and macroeconomic framework.”

Ways and Means Committee chair Dakila Carlo E. Cua said the DBCC economic forecast is “the most critical.”

After the DBCC, the Committee on Appropriations will next review the proposed budgets of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), and Department of Agriculture (DA) among others. — Charmaine A. Tadalan