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House oks 2014 budget on second reading

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives after hours of deliberations and debates, approved the 2014 National budget on its second reading.

In House Bill no. 6230, the lawmakers decided to scrap their Priority Development Assistant Funds, including that of Vice President Jejomar Binay amid the clamor of the public.

However, President Benigno Aquino III will be able to keep his, something that the opposition bloc tried but failed to abolish.

The abolition of the pork barrel doesn’t necessarily mean that congressmen will not be able to have budget for their projects.   Inserted in the said bill is that each congressman is allowed to have at least five infrastructure projects, to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways, and with a ceiling budget of P24.5 million per legislator.

Meanwhile, the money which was supposedly intended for the Congressmen’s PDAF was distributed to six agencies.  The DPWH received the biggest chunk with 9.654 Billion pesos.

The third and final reading is set on October 14, after Congress gets back from their two-week break.

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