House ‘physically retrieving’ its version of 2019 budget
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is “physically retrieving” on Wednesday afternoon its version of the proposed 2019 national budget from the Senate.
House appropriations committee chair Rolando Andaya Jr. made the announcement, quickly pointing out that this did not mean “withdrawing or backtracking” from their earlier position.
“We want to make it clear, though. We are not withdrawing or backtracking from our earlier position. We maintain that the House did nothing unconstitutional, illegal or irregular when we approved and ratified the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) in plenary session,” he said.
Andaya said they dispatched officers of the House Secretary-General to “physically retrieve” the budget books that the House transmitted last March 11 in line with Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s instruction to “allow a last ditch effort to break the budget impasse.”
Arroyo also ordered the formation of a three-man House team that would meet with their Senate counterparts to address contentious issues on the 2019 GAB within five days, according to the Camarines Sur congressman. The members of the team are Andaya, Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, and San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.
“We hope that the contingents from the Senate and the House can agree to a common venue for a formal discussion on the issues and not debate on the merits of their position through the media,” Andaya added. /je
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