Contact Details

Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 2 931 5497, +63 2 931 5001 local 7370

There is definitely no budget deadlock between the House and Senate panels and it was only the lack of physical time before the congressional recess which prevented the forging of a reconciled annual General Appropriations Bill for 2008.

This was underscored by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations and head of the House panel of the Bicameral Conference Committee which is tasked to harmonize the disagreeing provisions of the Senate and House versions.

The Committee on Appropriations breaks tradition after it approved last Monday, September 17, 2007, the participation of bona fide people’s organizations (POs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in public hearings on the General Appropriations Bill.

Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, endorsed the approval of this innovative approach as suggested by Rep. Lorenzo R. Tanada III and Teofisto L. Guingona III, co-authors of House Resolution No. 120 which is entitled, “Urgent Resolution Allowing the Active Participation of Bona Fide People’s Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations in Public Hearings in Congress’ Annual Budget Deliberations.”

The health sector shared top billing with education among the social services which received highly significant budgetary increases from the House of Representatives in the 2008 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, said that the amount of P6.812 billion was added to the outlays for free medical assistance to indigent patients, reproductive health and family planning, LGU contributions for PhilHealth coverage of poor families, anti-tuberculosis campaign, subsidy to specialty hospitals and financial assistance to local hospitals, procurement of medical equipment and construction and repair of hospital units, among others.

The education sector gets a hefty augmentation of P6.436 billion in the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 2008 which the House of Representatives is expected to approve on third and final reading on November 13, 2007.

This was disclosed by Albay Representative Edcel C. Lagman, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.

According to Lagman, the budget of the Department of Education (Dep-Ed) was increased by P5.273 billion from an original allocation of P145.975 billion, while P1.162 billion was added to the outlay of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

The General Appropriations Bill (GAB) approved on Monday by the House of Representatives prioritizes four “anti-campaigns” of the government on tuberculosis, the drug menace, money laundering and poverty.

This was disclosed by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.

Lagman said that basic social services on education, health and social welfare and development, which principally benefit the poor, have a combined budgetary increase of P14.3 billion over their respective proposed allocations in the National Expenditure Program (NEP).