Proposed public participation in budgeting passed in Congress

The bill that will allow public participation in drafting the annual budget of Congress and other government offices has passed in the third and final reading in the House of Representatives, including participants and their liability.

By a vote of 200 against six who abstained and none abstained, members of the House of Representatives approved on third reading House Bill No. 7407 known as “An Act Institutionalizing The Participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Preparation and Authorization Process of the Annual National Budget, Providing E5ective Mechanisms Therefor, and for Other Purposes.”

Rep. Florida “Rida” Robes, the author of the bill, expressed her joy and said it would play an important role in the discussion of the General Appropriations bill in Congress, as as in preparing the budgets of other government offices, especially will allow the public to influence the government official how it should be spent and who will be given the corresponding budget.

“I am hopeful that the counterpart bill in will get passed soon because it is the aim of the present administration to ensure transparency and accountability in the crafting of the annual budget,” Robes said.

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Proposed public participation in budgeting passed in Congress

The Committee on People’s Participation headed by Robes conducted the discussion and approval of the bill before it was brought to the plenary. Under such a proposal, civil society organizations wishing to participate in budget preparation and discussion will be allowed to be accredited.

Upon accreditation, they have the right to participate in the preparation of the budget of government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations and other offices established under the Constitution, as granted to NGOs of local development councils.

In December 2020, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte today signed into law the PhP4. 506 trillion Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is the third full cash budget of the Duterte Administration. It serves as the government’s financial blueprint to recovery in response to the -19 pandemic.

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