THE House of Representatives should reconvene and stick to the original legislative calender to pass the proposed P4.56-trillion budget for 2021, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

In statement on Friday, Nograles underscored the importance of passing the proposed 2021 budget on time.

“I believe that the House of Representatives should convene and begin again budget deliberations and pass the budget before the break,” he said.

Nograles made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco settle the leadership issue of the chamber to get the proposed 2021 budget passed on time.

“I think that is the message of the President: It shouldn’t have happened because they should have stuck with the calendar,” Nograles said.

It was on October 6 that the House suspended its seessions without passing the budget on third and final reading. The chamber resumes sessions on November 16.

Duterte on Thursday night urged speakership rivals Cayetano and Velasco to resolve their tussle or he would fix the problem himself.

“Either you resolve the issue sa impasse ninyo diyan (on your impasse) and pass the budget legally and constitutionally. Pag hindi ninyo ginawa, ako ang gagawa para sa inyo (If you fail to do it, I’ll do it for you),” Duterte said in a taped speech.

Huwag naman sana ninyo sobrahan ang laro sa Congress na yung budget mismo ang nalagay sa alanganin (Don’t play too much in Congress to the point that the budget is at risk),” he added.

Failure to pass the 2021 budget could result in a reenacted budget for next year based on last year’s allocation, which could hamper government efforts to revive the economy that took a battering from the coronavirus pandemic. The approved budget for 2020 is P4.1 trillion.

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