First in 10 years: Budget to be signed before end of year

Posted at 12/23/10 1:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Bickering and political wrangling have marred early approvals of previous national budgets. It will be different this time.

In an interview with ANC, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said all is set for President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to sign the P1.645-trillion national budget on December 27 at 10:00 a.m.

And if so, it will be the first time in 10 years that the budget would be drafted, approved and signed before the year it will be implemented.

Abad credits the early approval of the budget on the members of Congress’ willingness to support the transparency measures of the Aquino government.

“[I credit] both Houses for their diligence in doing their work…the patience of the legislators despite their long hours of debate. At the end of the day, they all agreed to approve the administration’s programs on transparency,” he said.

Although there were hits and misses, Abad is content nonetheless.

As in previous years, many sectors have not been happy with the outcome.

Members of the judiciary will meet in January to discuss possible options on how to bring about their discontent over Malacañang’s failure to listen to their requests.

The group has long been appealing for a P1.5 billion allocation for their salary differentials since July 2007.