Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go Tuesday expressed confidence that the decision of the House of Representatives to pass abruptly the proposed P4.5 trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on second reading and suspend their session until November 16 would not adversely affect the passage of the 2021 budget.
‘’We cannot afford to have a reenacted budget not suited for COVID-19 recovery. Naghihirap na po ang mga Pilipino, huwag na natin silang mas pahirapan pa,’’ Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, said. (Filipinos are suffering. Let us not add to their suffering.)
‘’Hindi ko rin alam kung ano dahilan ng desisyon ng leadership ng Lower House. Diskarte nila ‘yan. Ang sa akin lang, dapat hindi maapektuhan ang pagpasa ng 2021 budget,’’ he added. (I don’t know the reason of the Lower House leadership. That is their strategy. To me, such a move should not affect the passage of the budget.)
Go stressed that the 24-member Senate has been continuously conducting public hearings on the National Expenditure Program (NEP).
‘’So far, we are on time and on track to pass the budget before the year ends. Sa Lower House naman, mukhang on track rin naman sila dahil umabot pa sila hanggang madaling araw noong nakaraang mga araw para lang matapos ang kanilang budget deliberations,’’ he added. (The Lower House seems to be on track as they have been deliberating on it until early in the mornings the past days.)
Go said the Filipino people are hopeful of being extended help by the government particularly during the current health crisis.
Kapag hindi po naipasa ang 2021 budget on time at wala tayong budget sa susunod na taon na angkop sa sitwasyon na kinakaharap natin, ang magsa-suffer ay ang mga Pilipino. Huwag natin ipasa sa tao ang burden na sila ang magsa-suffer kung sakaling madelay o hindi maipasa ito,’’ he added. (Filipinos will suffer when the proposed 2021 budget is not passed and there is no budget that is suited to address the suffering of our countrymen. Let us not add more to the suffering of our people.)