Marcos eyes signing of 2024 budget before Christmas Day


December 15, 2023 | 5:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Friday that he may sign the P5.768-trillion budget for 2024 before December 25 or Christmas Day, saying that the bicameral report on the budget has yet to be submitted to his office.

In an interview with reporters, Marcos said that he is still waiting to receive the final bicameral conference committee report on the proposed spending plan for 2024 — which was ratified by Congress on Monday.

While finance chief Benjamin Diokno earlier said the proposed 2024 budget would be signed by Marcos before he leaves for Tokyo, Marcos left for Japan on Friday afternoon without signing the bicameral report on the General Appropriations Bill for 2024. 

Both chambers of Congress previously eyed the submission of the proposed budget to the president by December 10 so that the outlay could be signed in time before he leaves for Tokyo.

“They’re putting the finishing touches on it. Maybe the final version of the bill will be submitted today or in the coming days,” Marcos said, according to a report by state-run Philippine News Agency.

Marcos signed the 2023 budget on December 16 last year. 

The president added that he does not foresee any unresolved issues that may “suddenly arise” with the proposed budget and that he would “immediately” sign the budget once it lands on his desk.

The bicam-approved version of the proposed 2024 budget did not restore the P650 million worth of confidential funds under Vice President Sara Duterte’s two offices — the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education. — Cristina Chi


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