Lump sum in ratified budget ‘unconstitutional’ | Inquirer News

House leader: Lump sum in ratified budget ‘unconstitutional’

/ 08:56 AM March 13, 2019

Fredenil Castro - Saturday Forum at Annabel's

House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro talks about the 2019 national budget at the Saturday Forum at Annabel’s on Feb. 2, 2019. (Photo from an video)

MANILA, Philippines — House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro on Wednesday said they had reservations in retaining the lump sum appropriations in the bicameral conference report of the proposed P3.8 trillion 2019 national budget, as this would be “unconstitutional.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson made the proposal during Tuesday night’s meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, together with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, appropriations panel chair Rolando Andaya Jr., Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, among others.


“There was a suggestion presented by Senator Ping Lacson to finish the budget by retaining the lump sum appropriations in the bicameral report and just allow the President to itemize the projects which may be covered by the lump sum appropriations. To this suggestion, Rep. Nonoy Andaya expressed reservation as this would be unconstitutional,” Castro said in a statement.


The Capiz 2nd District congressman also said this suggestion did not sit well with the President because “he does not want to be involved in allocating projects.”

The Chief Executive nonetheless wanted them to finish the 2019 budget “as soon as possible” and in a “manner they are comfortable.”

“Members of both chambers signified to the President that they will follow his suggestion so that in a few days’ time, the budget is finalized,” the lawmaker added.

Congress leaders failed to arrive at a consensus as senators have been pushing to retain the ratified version of the spending bill with lump-sum appropriations, while the House contingent wants the budget that they itemized after it was ratified by both chambers.

Andaya said it was not illegal to amend the proposed budget after it was ratified. /cbb

READ: No consensus yet on 2019 budget despite meeting with Duterte

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TAGS: House of Representatives, lump sum, News, Philippines

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