House appropriations committee chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. of Camarines Sur said the lower chamber is also open to the proposal of Senate President Vicente Sotto III for the two chambers to hold a special session to break the impasse.
Boy Santos
Senate, House open to special session on budget
Jess Diaz, Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives and the Senate both said yesterday they are open to dialogue to break the impasse over the already delayed budget proposal for 2019, but both sides are standing firm on their positions regarding lump-sum appropriations in the measure.

House appropriations committee chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. of Camarines Sur said the lower chamber is also open to the proposal of Senate President Vicente Sotto III for the two chambers to hold a special session to break the impasse.

“Set the date and place, we will be there. But the House position is clear: we will not agree to the Senate’s stand that we return to the old mode of lump-sum budgeting,” Andaya said, adding the House “remains steadfast in its mission of itemizing all lump-sum funds” in the proposed budget.

Sotto, for his part, was quick to respond that the Senate is willing to dialogue with the House as long as the lower chamber transmits the original General Appropriations Bill (GAB) as ratified by Congress last month.

“We never said to return to the old mode. We said return to what we approved and ratified in plenary,” Sotto told reporters. “Therefore, do not remove and add from budgets that were not theirs in the first place. We stand firm. Recall what they sent then we can talk.”

Senators have alleged that the House leadership has realigned and itemized as much as P96 billion from the GAB after it was already ratified by the two chambers last Feb. 8, a move that they claimed was illegal and unconstitutional.

Sotto earlier suggested that to break the deadlock, the Senate and House transmit the version of GAB as originally ratified so President Duterte can sign it into law after vetoing the lump sums itemized by the House.

The lump sum appropriations – comprising only about two percent of the proposed budget – can now be tackled in a short special session and be approved as a supplemental budget, Sotto said.

2019 NATIONAL BUDGET
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with