Palace hands off on House “insertions” in 2019 proposed budget
Malacanang has distanced itself from the reported "insertions" by the House of Representatives in the proposed budget for next year.
In a statement on Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace respects the independence of Congress.
"On the reported insertions in the budget, this is something that Congress has to discuss, review and deliberate upon. The Palace acknowledges the independence of Congress on these matters and we manifest our respect as regards its competence in enacting the budget," he said.
The House reportedly has re-aligned P51.7 billion in the proposed P3.757 trillion budget for 2019. The supposed realignment was allegedly the cause for the delay in the approval of the General Appropriations Bill at the House.
According to Senator Panfilo Lacson, a "blessed few" in the House could get P60 million alleged pork barrel in next year's budget. This was despite a Supreme Court ruling before on the unconstitutionality of pork barrel.
While there have been delays in the approval of the proposed budget for 2019, Panelo expressed belief that this could still be passed before the end of the year.
"The Palace remains confident that the 2019 national budget will be passed before Congress goes on Christmas recess," he said.
He noted that the members of the Senate supportive of the administration's efforts in bringing overall progress to the country have already publicly stated that they would be working 12 hours a day starting next week to tackle the proposed budget.
"It is the Filipino people who will ultimately benefit from the passage of the budget; hence, we are positive that the rest will follow suit," Panelo said. Celerina Monte/DMS