Bicam ‘breakthrough:’ 2019 budget to be ratified by Friday – Legarda
MANILA, Philippines — The congressional bicameral conference committee has reached a “breakthrough” as they agreed to approve and ratify the 2019 national budget by Friday.
Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, reported this to the plenary on Monday after she met with her counterpart in the House, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya.
“It was more congenial and open bicam and I think there’s a breakthrough in a sense,” Legarda said when Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked for an update on the bicam on budget.
“Congressman Andaya and I agreed to meet again on Wednesday in the morning so that we can finalize it for targeted ratification on Friday at the latest,” she said.
Legarda expects that by Wednesday morning, there will be a “final” bicam on budget.
While Wednesday is the last day of the session, she said Congress might still hold sessions until Friday.
Congress is set to go on break on Wednesday and will resume after the May 2019 elections.
Senator Panfilo Lacson stood up on the floor and asked if the bicam report would be ready for signature when Legarda reports back to the body or if she would first report the amendments made on the budget.
Legarda has yet to respond to Lacson’s query.
The Senate and the House have been locked in a standoff amid alleged “pork” insertions in the budget./gsg/ac