Lacson: ‘Dizzying pork’ causing budget impasse in the House
MANILA, Philippines — The waiting game starts for the Senate after the House of Representatives failed to recall on Monday its new version of the 2019 General Appropriation Bill (GAB).
On Monday, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the House would recall within the day the budget bill it earlier transmitted to the Senate for signature.
Lacson’s information was based from his phone conversation with San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, who was tasked by the House leadership to negotiate with senators on the budget issue.
Zamora later confirmed to reporters the statement of Lacson.
But the day ended without the House recalling its GAB version.
“Just when the stalemate between the Senate and the House is about to end, there is now a budget impasse within the House,” Lacson wrote on Twitter Monday night.
“Blame it on the dizzying pork,” he said.
The senator repeated his statement when asked in a text message on Tuesday if the House leadership made good of its promise to recall the budget.
“Just when the stalemate between the Senate and the House is about to end, there is now a budget impasse within the House. Meantime, we wait,” Lacson said.
Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya said recalling the budget would still need the plenary approval in the House.
But Lacson said Zamora explained to Andaya that the House version transmitted to the Senate was just a draft, “and therefore will not need plenary approval.”
The senator said the House would still recall the modified GAB.
“They should first break the budget impasse within their own house. Meantime, the Senate will just wait when they will recall,” he said in a separate text message.
The Senate and the House already ratified the budget bill last February 8 but the lower chamber made last minute changes by itemizing the alleged “unconstitutional” lump sums of the Senate.
The Senate called the House’s move unconstitutional, noting that changes are no longer allowed once a measure is already ratified by both chambers. /cbb
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