Suddenly, House ‘committee of the whole’ tackles 2019 nat’l budget
All of a sudden, the House of Representatives constituted itself into a committee of the whole on Tuesday to tackle the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.
This comes as lawmakers bicker over the alleged P55 billion “insertion” in the budget of some congressmen.
“I move that the House be constituted into the committee of the whole in order for the House to consider House Bill No. 8169, so move Mr. Speaker,” motioned House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, Jr.
This was approved without any objections.
Presiding Deputy Speaker Baby Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan) then designated Andaya as the chair of the panel.
Andaya then convened the body and addressed them.
“Our intention is not to destroy what the executive proposes but to strengthen it. To vet and validate and verify proposed funds because the budget is not a document as thin as a bank account,” he said.
Rule 18 Section 137 of the House rules states that the House may constitute itself into a “Committee of the Whole on motion of the Majority Leader to act upon a bill or resolution.”
“When the House constitutes itself into a Committee of the Whole, it functions as one committee acting upon a bill or resolution, and conducting its proceedings like a regular committee with its membership composed of all the Members of the House,” the rule reads.
The constitution of the House as committee of the whole was aimed to resolve the dispute over the P55 billion alleged “pork” by amending House Bill No. 8169 or the proposed 2019 national budget.
Following deliberations, it was found out however that the P55 billion was actually P51,792,022, which was initially earmarked for various regional projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). /kga
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