House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro moved to approve the ratification of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill with 244 House members present.
“In accordance with our rules, I unconditionally and irrevocably move that we ratify the said bicameral conference committee report, and I so move Madame Speaker,” Castro said.
His motion was immediately carried by the plenary despite objections from Makabayan bloc lawmakers.
The ratification of this year’s budget was done in the last minute, with Congress extending sessions for two days before it goes on break from February 9 to May 19 for the mid-term elections.
The passage of the 2019 budget was delayed when the Senate failed to approve the national expenditure program before 2018 ended, leading to the automatic reenactment of the 2018 budget.
The Senate only approved this year’s budget on January 21, with the bicameral conference committee immediately starting its work on the same day to reconcile the disagreeing provisions in the Senate and House versions of the spending bill.
The bicameral conference committee approved the 2019 spending bill Friday afternoon.