2018 budget set for signing on December 19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 22) — The government wants the 2018 national budget done and dusted by December 19.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday said lawmakers will be able to pass the General Appropriations Act on time since they have already resolved major issues.

The Senate is wrapping up interpellations this month, while the bicameral meeting is set for the first week of December so both houses can align their versions of the bill.

Another priority bill, the tax reform bill known as TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Bill) is expected to be approved in a month's time, Diokno said. Discussions on the bill are ongoing in the Senate.

"We have already assigned a date for the signing of the General Appropriations bill into law by President Duterte, and that is December 19, 2017. I think that around that time we will also be signing the TRAIN," he said in a media forum.

The proposed P3.767-trillion (US$75 billion) 2018 budget is an increase of over 12 percent from the 2017 budget.