Senate to continue sessions earlier than scheduled on Nov. 9


THE SENATE will resume sessions on Nov. 9, a week earlier than scheduled to tackle the 2021 national budget and a tax reform bill that will cut corporate income tax and streamline fiscal incentives.

“We want to start early so we don’t have a hard time in the budget deliberations,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said at an online news briefing on Thursday.

The Senate is holding committee hearings on agencies’ budgets while it awaits the passage of the P4.5-trillion national budget by the House of Representatives.

Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco seeks to get the appropriations bill approved by Friday. Budget deliberations in the chamber had been suspended due to the speakership row between him and his predecessor, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter S. Cayetano.

“I was told that they promised the President that they will try to pass it on third reading by tomorrow,” Mr. Zubiri said.

He added that the Senate could approve the budget by the first week of December if the House can pass it by Friday.

“We will inform the House of Representatives that we will start our sessions early,” the senator said. “If they accept that and they don’t have any complaints, today we will suspend sessions until Nov. 9.”

Congress was supposed to go on a break from Oct. 17 to Nov. 15 under its original legislative calendar.

Meanwhile, the chamber was also seeking to pass a proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which seeks to cut company taxes to 25% from 30% to attract foreign investors leaving China.

On Wednesday evening, senators spent five hours amending just five out of 57 pages of the bill. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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