The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a P14.6 billion supplemental budget to be spent on massive rehabilitation efforts in various areas struck by calamities.
With Deputy Speaker Roberto V. Puno of the National Unity Party (NUP) presiding over the session, the House voted 213-6 with no abstentions last Tuesday (Dec. 3) to pass the additional appropriations for this fiscal year.
The P14.6 billion supplemental fund will be sourced from the unused Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers this year
Voting 213-6 with no abstentions, the House of Representatives on Tuesday passed on third and final reading the P14.6-billion supplemental budget to fund rehabilitation efforts in calamity-struck areas in the country.
The Senate followed suit by approving a counterpart bill the following day.
After passing the bicameral conference committee, the measure will be sent to the President for his signature.
President Benigno Aquino III had certified the P14.6-billion supplemental budget proposal as urgent. A bill that has been certified as urgent bypasses the three-day rule between readings in the legislature, effectively expediting its approval in Congress.
In a related development, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. welcomed the appointment of former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson as the government’s “rehabilitation czar” who will oversee the massive reconstruction efforts in typhoon-devastated areas in the country.
With billions of pesos in state funds, foreign aid and donations, and emergency loans from international institutions, Barzaga said the government needs someone “who's image is untainted in graft and corruption.”
Barzaga, the NUP vice president, said Lacson would "fit seamlessly" in his new role. “He has the moral ascendancy to lead the rehabilitation efforts. Given (former) Sen. Ping’s integrity, professionalism and track record, I believe he will do a great job in his new post as rehabilitation czar. I believe he would be successful in his new job and as a fellow Caviteño I fully support him,” he said.