Sotto: Senate open to special session to break budget impasse
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday said the Senate was open to convene a special session to break the impasse over the 2019 budget.
Sotto said the Senate once again asked the House to recall the modified budget bill and restore it to its original version and just let President Rodrigo Duterte use his veto power over the lump-sum appropriations.
After that, Congress could convene a special session to address the vetoed portions and pass a joint resolution approving a supplemental budget.
“The suggestion was that again recall the submitted GAB (General Appropriations Bill) to us and from there we could probably amend or let the President veto that portion,” Sotto said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
“We can convene kahit one day for a special session and pass a joint resolution approving a supplemental budget for that particular portion of the budget,” he added.
He clarified that the portions of the budget that President Durterte would veto would not be removed from the budget and the Congress could pass a joint resolution to address those portions.
“‘Yung vineto nya, hindi naman mawawala yun eh. It will remain there. And therefore, we can convene in a special session and address that particular portion of the budget,” Sotto said.
Earlier, Sotto claimed the House made P96 billion realignments even after the ratification of the 2019 national budget.
Senator Panfilo Lacson also claimed that Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had realigned close to P95 billion to districts of her allies in the House even after the ratification of the final version of the budget bill.
During a Tuesday night meeting with the President, the Senate asked the House to restore the budget to its original version. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.