Drilon: Submission of bicam reports on sin tax, budget next week

SENATOR Franklin Drilon projected early submission of bicameral conference committee report on sin tax and budget bills next week since both Houses has “minimal” disagreements.

Drilon said that both House has agreed to simultaneously meet on sin tax and budget bills but it will based on their schedules next week.

“We can keep both in our schedule, it’s not sequential,” Drilon said.

For the P2.006 trillion 2013 budget, Drilon said both Houses has agreed to meet on Monday to find out how they can reconcile which provision.

“We expect next week that the Senate and the House can come up with reconciled versions of the budget,” Drilon said.

The Senate finance chief said that he and Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday met and agreed with Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong, House committee on appropriations chair, to form their respective small group.

“Sen. Lacson and I represented the Senate and presented to the House contingent our version of the general appropriations which reduced the present budget by P110 million, and then we went through our respective versions. What was clear was that the differences between two versions were not substantial,” Drilon said.

“What we decided is to form small groups between Cong. Limkaichong, and myself to form a small committee, assisted by our staff who will go over on the two versions of the budget,’ Drilon added.

After reviewing their respective version on Monday, Drilon said both Houses’ committees will meet again to receive the recommendation from the small groups for the respective chairmen and find out how to handle the differences which are not substantial.

“(And) then we will work how we can reconcile them, “ Drilon said.

On Sin Tax, Drilon said panel members of both Houses will meet next week but up to this writing, they are still looking for possible acceptable day.

“We just informed the House, and we are trying to find a mutually convenient date next week, but the budget will not comes first,” Drilon said.

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