The first session of many more to come Budget Hearings began today. The House of Representatives, under Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, has already begun tackling the 2020 proposed National Expenditure program, a mere 2 days after it was received from the Department of Budget and Management.
According to a Facebook Live from Speaker Cayetano, this is just one of many “record-breaking” precedents set by the 18th Congress.
Speaker Cayetano began by looking back at the many accomplishments of the 18th Congress as today marks his first month in office.
He confirmed that in just a month, Congress is almost completely organized. Speaker Cayetano dedicated the first initial weeks of his term to meeting every member of the House by party and beginning the critical task of assigning Committee Chairs.
Further, the first Bill of the 18th Congress to pass its 3rd Reading happened this week. The bill seeks to amend a number of provisions in the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 to revise the taxes on alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and similar products. The measure would fund the ambitious yet sorely needed Universal Health Care Act.
Lastly, the Budget Hearings have started a mere two days after receiving the budget. According to Speaker Cayetano, who has three-terms of experience as a Congressman, the hearing usually begin one to two weeks the budget has been received. Speaker Cayetano credited the hardworking Congress Members for working through the holiday on Wednesday, Ninoy Aquino Day. All of Congress is reportedly working together to pass the budget in harmony.
Speaker Cayetano concludes his Live by cheerfully announcing that the next Hearings begin tomorrow at 9 am. Tomorrow, the PCSO, PAGCOR, Department of Trade and Industry, and the newly established Department of Human Settlements are having their turn in the Budget Hearings.
Speaker Cayetano hosted his quick 3:30 minute long Facebook live following the adjourning of the first Budget Hearing. The live showed the Speaker and other House officials enjoying a simple “sugar overload” snack. Present were Committee on Appropriations Chairman Rep. Sid Ungab of the 3rd District of Davao City, Committee on Appropriations Vice Chair Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe of the 2nd District of Zamboanga, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla of the 7th District of Cavite, Deputy Speaker Rep. Raneo “Rany” Abu of the 2nd District of Batangas, and Deputy Speaker for Finance and Social Mobility Rep. Lray Villafuerte of the 2nd District of Camarines Sur.