The House of Representatives led by Speaker Martin Romualdez swiftly ratified the bicameral conference committee report on House Bill 4488 or the 2023 General Appropriations Bill.
The bill provides for a P5.268-trillion national budget for fiscal year 2023.
Romualdez previously assured that the proposed budget would be passed before the session break.
“We have sufficient time, we will finally approve the budget before yearend. It is the most important tool in accomplishing the objectives of the President’s Agenda for Prosperity and his eight-point socio-economic development plan,” the veteran legislator said in an earlier interview.
Lawmakers also approved on third and final reading HB 6452 that would establish the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines.
Lawmakers also approved on third and final reading HB 6452 that would establish the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP) as an attached agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Through this measure, the VIP would be mandated to implement policies, plans, programs, and projects for the development of virology science and technology in the country, as well as the promotion of scientific and technological activities for both the public and private sectors. It would cover all kinds of viruses and viral diseases in plants, animals, and humans.
Additionally, the bill provides that the DOST, in partnership with the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Trade and Industry, would be tasked to develop an industry roadmap for products and services that could be created, improved or optimized by research from the VIP.
The House approved on second reading HB 6336 or the proposed “New Agrarian Emancipation Act”, another Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) priority.
Meanwhile, the House approved on second reading HB 6336 or the proposed “New Agrarian Emancipation Act”, another Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) priority.
This would emancipate agrarian reform beneficiaries from financial burden by condoning unpaid amortizations and interests, and exempt payment of estate tax on agricultural lands awarded under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Other bills that hurdled second reading were:
1) HB 6 or the proposed “Open Access in Data Transmission Act”
2) HB 6444 or the proposed “Waste Treatment Technology Act” and
3) HB 6416 or the proposed “State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) Mental Health Service Act”
Romualdez, as well as Deputy Speakers Kristine Singson-Meehan and Camille Villar presided over the hybrid plenary session.