Senate approves 2023 national budget on third reading

The Senate of the Philippines approved House Bill No. 4488 or the 2023 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on third and final reading on November 23, 2022.

“I welcome the Senate’s swift approval of the measure, and thank Senator Angara and the Committee of Finance for pushing for the passage of this bill. This secures all our ready-to-implement plans for the next year,” said Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

The PHP5.268 trillion national budget is the first approved appropriations under the Marcos administration. Among sectors that received increased fundings were education; agriculture for food security; health for additional regional hospitals and health facilities; labor and employment for the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced (TUPAD) program; tourism for the operational expenses of the tourism department foreign offices; public works and highways for the construction and rehabilitation of bridges and roads; and energy.

“[W]e have been able to keep this budget aligned with the objectives and the agenda outlined in the Medium Term Fiscal Framework or MTFF. Let this be a sign of our broad support to the goal set by the Marcos administration and our principled commitment to promoting a unified government for the betterment of our people,” said Committee on Finance Chairperson Senator Sonny Angara.

The 2023 national budget was passed with 21 affirmative votes, zero negative votes, and zero abstentions. Senators Sonny Angara; Pia Cayetano; Loren Legarda; Imee Marcos; Cynthia Villar; Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa; Win Gatchalian; Christopher Lawrence Go; Risa Hontiveros; Nancy Binay; Grace Poe; Francis Tolentino; Mark Villar; JV Ejercito; Alan Peter Cayetano; Francis Escudero; and Jinggoy Estrada were designated as conferees to the Bicameral Conference Committee.