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Palace hands off on P55-B alleged ‘insertions’ in 2019 budget 

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 12:55 PM September 18, 2018
HARRY ROQUE

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. INQUIRER file photo / JOAN BONDOC

Malacañang distanced itself over the P55-billion worth of alleged “insertions” in the P3.757-trillion 2019 national budget reportedly intended for some lawmakers.

The discovery of the reported insertions prompted some lawmakers to stall the start of the plenary debates on the budget.

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace was leaving it to the House of Representatives to settle the issue.

“Let me put it this way. Malacañang proposed the budget through the National Expenditure Program [NEP] and therefore, we take responsibility for what appears in the NEP,” Roque siad in a Palace briefing.

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“If it is true that there are items which were not in the NEP, then, we do not know where that came from. We leave it to the House to do what it deems proper with these items,” he added.

The scheduled plenary debates of the House of Representatives on the P3.757-trillion 2019 budget were stalled on Monday after some lawmakers claimed there was a P55-billion worth of “insertions” in the budget.

READ: ‘Insertions,’ brewing conflict delay House plenary debates on 2019 budget

“We respect the constitutional mandate of Congress, which has the power of the purse. We have actually discharged our constitutional function when we submitted the NEP or the proposed budget to Congress,” Roque said.

“It’s the call of Congress how it will change the NEP, subject to constitutional limitations. It cannot be increased, it can be reduced,” he added.

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