House okay with special Congress session to pass 2019 budget
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is willing to convene a special session to finish the proposed P3.8-trillion 2019 national budget, Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said Wednesday.
“Unang-una call kami if he wants to call special session…,” Andaya said in a press briefing after Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said he would recommend a joint session of Congress to pass next year’s appropriations before the year ends.
“Pero magpapasalamat din kami kay Secretary Diokno nun hindi namin siya kailangan i-subpoena dahil nandun na siya. Haharap siya sa amin… Unli question hour ang mangyayari po nyan so okay lang,” he added.
Andaya and Minority Leader Danilo Suarez have accused Diokno of orchestrating the “insertion” of some P75-billion infrastructure fund in the proposed 2019 national budget. Diokno, however, has denied their allegations.
“Ipaliwanag muna niya ‘yun bago siya magturu-turo na mabagal at kailangan bilisan,” Andaya said of Diokno.
Both Andaya and Suarez said President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Public Works and Highways had no knowledge of the P75-billion infrastructure fund in the proposed 2019 national budget.
District congressmen were also not aware of these funds allotted to their districts, according to Andaya. /kga
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