MANILA – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon expressed his opposition on Congress’ ratification of the 2019 national budget, which he likened to signing a blank check.
In a statement, the Ilonggo senator said he opposed the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Act since the Congress was not given enough time to scrutinize it further.
“It is unfortunate that the Senate did not have sufficient time to review the General Appropriations Bill submitted by the House of Representatives and the reconciled version of the conference committee,” Drilon said.
“To give my vote to this budget is like signing a blank check. I simply cannot do that,” he added.
Drilon also said he is not convinced that the 2019 national budget is in sync with what the government wants to accomplish.
“In my 20 years in the Senate, I have made it a personal advocacy to scrutinize the national budget, which is the most important piece of legislation that goes through the Congress. The national budget is the most effective tool for good governance,” he added.
After much delay due to allegations of anomalous insertions favoring some lawmakers, the Senate and House of Representatives’ bicameral conference committee on Friday agreed on the final version of the P3.75-trillion national budget.
The Philippine government is currently operating under a reenacted budget since the start of the year due to Congress’ failure to pass the national budget before the end of last year./PN