Senate ratifies P 2.264- T 2014 national budget

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Dec. 11 (PNA) — The Senate unanimously ratified on Wednesday afternoon the proposed P2.264- trillion national budget for 2014.

The approved budget was P3.2 billion lower than the original P2.268 trillion proposed by Malacanang.

After the ratification by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the budget bill would be transmitted to President Benigno Aquino III for signature.

Senate Finance Committee Chair, Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero earlier said the budget is now minus the pork barrel of 15 senators and the Office of the Vice President.

A total of P3-billion (P200-million each) of 15 senators’ pork barrel and P200-million of the Office of the Vice President pork barrel was deducted.

Meanwhile, P100 billion of the budget will be used for the rehabilitation of areas affected by recent calamities.

Escudero said a difference between the budget for 2014 and the previous budgets is that legislators will no longer be allowed to intervene or interfere in the implementation of the budget after enactment.

The bicameral conference committee, for the first time last Tuesday, allowed the meeting to be open to the public and available via live stream. (PNA)