Contact Details

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

The General Appropriations Bill (GAB) is like an ordinary bill which comes in two (2) versions, the bill on first reading and the bill on third reading after committee and individual amendments are adopted on second reading.

The referral of Sen. Panfilo Lacson to the House “Red” and “Black” versions of the GAB is traditional. The “Red” version is the GAB originally filed on first reading and the “Black” version is the amended GAB for third reading, which has an increased allocation consequent to the amendments.

To explain further, the GAB with red prints is filed by the Committee on Appropriations based on the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted by the President to Congress. It usually contains minor amendments introduced by the Committee on the NEP which is termed as the Original Bill.

The GAB with black prints already contains amendments introduced by the Committee and approved amendments introduced by Members of the House of Representatives for approval on third reading. There is definitely nothing unusual or sinister about having two versions which is consistent with recognized parliamentary procedure.

Filipinos do not only recognize the importance of family planning, they also strongly approve of government’s allocation of funds for modern contraceptives.

The latest Pulse Asia Survey concluded just before the 2007 elections showed an overwhelming majority of Filipinos (92%) believe it is important to mitigate fertility and plan their family.

A fourth committee of the House of Representatives has endorsed House Bill 5043 or the proposed “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2008” principally authored by Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman.

The Committee on Rules approved today the plenary consideration of the controversial bill which mandates government to provide information and services on all forms of family planning and allocate adequate funds for the reproductive health program.

The Presidential approval of the P1.227 trillion 2008 General Appropriations Act with minimal direct item vetoes is a reaffirmation of the Executive-Legislative common agenda of providing adequate basic social services and enhancing infrastructure development.

It also signifies the Executive’s guarded concurrence with the congressional thrusts on non-confrontational debt service reduction policy and accelerated impartial stress on reproductive health and population management.