House not yet withdrawing its version of 2019 nat’l budget

MANILA – The impasse between the Senate and the House of Representatives over the 2019 national budget is still far from over – with the latter hell bent on opposing a budget with lump-sum appropriations.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo clarified that they have yet to withdraw their version of the proposed 2019 national budget, contrary to the claim of San Juan City representative Ronaldo Zamora.

“No, we have not withdrawn our version. We’re in discussions about what is the proposed new version,” the former President and now Pampanga representative said on Tuesday.

She added: “We will insist on no lump sum because that is what is unconstitutional. That’s what we will insist on, no lump sum. Now, as to the details, that’s the one that we’ll see.”

Arroto further said: “If Congress could not come to an agreement then there’s no bill to send to the President. So I do not know if we will [agree] but I would wish we would.”

The Congress failed to submit the proposed P3.757-trillion 2019 national budget for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature after the House made amendments on the ratified version.

The government is currently running on a reenacted budget after lawmakers failed to approve the P3.7-trillion expenditure plan before their Christmas break due to supposed insertions./PN


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