â€œWe plan to submit the budget to the President by second week of December,â€ Drilon, who is the finance committee chairman, said.
â€œThe Senate remains on-track in deliberating on the proposed 2013 national budget and is committed to approve the countryâ€™s outlay before yearendâ€¦We will not allow any delay in the approval of the budget which was the practice in the past,â€ he said.
According to the senator, individual budget hearings of various departments are expected to continue until October 17.
Drilon noted that the House of Representatives is set to submit their version of the 2013 budget to the Senate by the third week of October, while the Senate Finance committee is scheduled to submit the 2013 budget for the Senate floor deliberations by the second week of November.
The budget should be passed into law as the General Appropriations Act for 2013.
â€œEven if we experienced cancellations of budget hearings because of the recent typhoons and holidays and even if the Congress will go on two session breaksâ€¦ I can still assure the timely enactment of the budget,â€ Drilon said.
The Senate will have a break from October 1 to 5 to give way to lawmakers to file their certificate of candidacies and from October 19 to November 4 for the Halloween break, he explained.
The Senate finance committee approved on committee level the budgets of several agencies and departments, including:
– the Office of the President, P2.73 billion;
– the Presidential Management Staff, P330.63 million;
– the Department of Foreign Affairs, P11.64 billion;
– the Commission on Elections, P8.42 billion;
– the Department of Labor and Employment, P2.78 billion;
– the Judiciary, P17.77 billion;
– the Department of Justice, P10.84 billion;
– the Department of Social Welfare and Development, P55.98 billion; and
– the Department of Trade and Industry, P4.09 billion. (MNS)