MANILA – The House of Representatives of the Philippines approved the third and final reading of the proposed 2014 National Budget on October 22, 2013.
Voting 219-22, the lower chamber of Congress passed the proposed Php2.268 trillion (Dh193 billion) General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for next year.
The approved GAB will be sent to a bicameral conference committee composed of representatives and senators who will reconcile conflicting provisions, if any, before the report is ratified in Congress and sent to Malacañang for the President’s approval.
The 2014 budget no longer contains the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the official name of the congressional pork barrel.
The bill axed the Php25.4 billion PDAF, and realigned it to specific items in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Education (DEPED), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Health (DOH), the Technical Educational Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The proposed budget allotted more funding to the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) to cover 4.44 million households and 10.2 million children beneficiaries, and will provide support for high school students.