Sotto: ‘Compromise’ on budget possible with new House leadership
MANILA, Philippines— A “compromise” in the 2019 budget is still possible under the new leadership at the House of Representatives in July.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III raised this scenario on Monday as the Senate and the House remain in a standoff on the budget.
If the budget would not be passed before Congress adjourns this week, Sotto said the government would have to operate under a reenacted budget at least until July this year.
“Magre-reenacted na ito kung hindi namin maipapasa by that time that Congress takes a break for the election period and therefore, pagbalik ng July na lang, dahil May and June, ganun pa rin yan, so pwede namang magre-enacted na yan until July,” he said in an interview at the Senate.
(We will go for a reenacted budget if we do not pass it by the time Congress takes a break for the election period; and therefore, we will work on it when we come back in July. So we can go for a reenacted budget until July.)
“In July, with the new House leadership, we can come up with a compromise on the budget para walang problema sa (so there will be no problem with the) executive department,” the Senate leader added.
The impasse on the budget was due to alleged “pork” insertions by the House and some senators.
But Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, later told the body that there was a “breakthrough” in the bicameral conference after she met with House appropriations chair, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya.
Legarda said she and Andaya agreed to come up with a final bicameral report by Wednesday and have it ratified by both chambers by Friday. /ee
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