Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Monday assured that the proposed P1.654 trillion national budget for 2011 will be approved by both Chambers of Congress — the Senate and the House of Representatives –before Christmas.
“As I was informed by the chairman (of the House appropriations committee), (Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio) Abaya, there are no big differences (Senate and House version of the proposed budget). So within two or three days allocated to them (bicameral conference committee), they will be able to come out with a report that hopefully will be acceptable to both the House and the Senate,” he said.
Congress will adjourn on Dec. 15 for the holiday season.
Belmonte said that House approval of the proposed 2011 national budget might be on the night of Dec. 15 or possibly on the 16th.
“Hopefully after that time, the budget would have been approved by both House of Congress,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker said he disapproved the slashing of the Senate to the Department of Health (DoH) budget for “family health” program — from P880 million to a mere P8 million.
“Personally, I don’t agree (on the slashing of budget for the DoH family health program). Sa tingin ko, to reduce it to P8 million is virtually to eliminate the item,” he said.