âErrataâ in 2021 budget should only correct typo errors, won't contain new items â Palace
File photo shows presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
The STAR/Joven Cagande

‘Errata’ in 2021 budget should only correct typo errors, won't contain new items — Palace

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - October 20, 2020 - 5:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — The errata to the 2021 budget approved by the House of Representatives should only correct typographical errors and should not contain new items, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson has claimed that a small group of House members continue to discuss amendments to the proposed P4.5 trillion for next year even if the chamber has approved the spending bill on final reading.

Lacson noted that under the 1987 Constitution, no amendment shall be allowed upon the last reading of a bill and the vote on the measure "shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal." The Constitution does not have a provision stating that the rule is not applicable to "errata," the senator added. Sen. Francis Pangilinan shared Lacson's view, saying post-approval amendments are not consistent with the constitution.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque echoed the opinions of the senators, saying the version that was approved on third and final reading should not be changed.

"Well, as a finding of fact, we need to establish that the errata really refers to a typographical error. But if it refers to additional items, then I would share the view of the senators, because if it is approved on third and final reading, there should be no changes anymore," Roque, a former lawmaker, said at a press briefing.

Roque, however, said allegations that some House members inserted post-approval amendments may not be established if the approved version is not released.

"But then another issue of fact is, what was really approved on third and final reading because unless it is released, we won't know if there are indeed additional items," the Palace spokesman said.

Roque noted that the president had vetoed several items in the 2019 budget, most of them line items that were not included in the original bill approved by the House on final reading. Among the vetoed items were more than P95 billion worth of public works projects that Duterte said were unconstitutional.

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