Palace on budget impasse: It’s all up to Congress
MANILA, Philippines – After failing to reach a consensus following a meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and leaders of both houses of Congress, Malacañang said it would no longer make any move to break the budget impasse.
“[There will be] no move from Malacañang,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo after Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the House of Representatives has not withdrawn its controversial version of the 2019 budget.
“We will just wait for them to settle their differences,” Panelo added.
He said the Palace is concerned over the delay in the transmittal of the ratified P3.757 national budget for 2019.
“We are concerned [about the delay] but what can you do if they don’t want. What we can do is to undertake measures to prevent, like the salary of the teachers we are doing something about that. Eventually, they will have to pass the national budget, sooner or later,” he said.
Asked about Malacañang’s message to Congress, he called on lawmakers to “earnestly” pass the bill.
“Well, we have been telling them to settle their differences, urged them earnestly to pass the bill. We are telling them even that the people will not take it lightly if they continue to ignore the demands of the times,” he said.
Panelo reiterated that the government is ready for a reenacted budget.
The government has been operating on a reenacted budget since the start of the year after Congress failed to pass the P3.757-national budget for 2019 amid allegations of questionable allocations and insertions.
A stalemate persisted even after the budget was ratified over allegations of last-minute realignments. / gsg
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