Andaya hoping for new budget before Friday
MANILA, Philippines — Camarines Sur Rep. Roland Andaya expressed hope on Monday that there would be a new budget before March 29.
Andaya, chair of the House of Representatives’ committee on appropriations, said this before he, San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman met with their counterparts in the Senate to discuss the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).
On the part of the Senate, Senators Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson and Gringo Honasan attended the meeting at the upper chamber, which started a little past 9 a.m.
The Senate and the House have traded accusations over the GAB which remains pending even after its ratification by both chambers last February 8.
Asked if he was confident they could resolve the issue after the meeting, Andaya said: “Of course!”
“Willing kami makipag-intindihan,” he told reporters before the meeting.
“We’ll come up with an understanding that we will really have a new budget. We want to hurry it up and hopefully before the 29th magkaroon na tayo ng budget,” he added.
Asked again if the House would insist on amending the ratified version, Andaya said: “I don’t think aabot sa usapan na ganun. Hindi aabot dun sa usapan na ganun.”
But he immediately clarified that there was no amendments and that everything was all within the ratified version.
“There’s just one version to talk about. There’s no other version na pinag-uusapan. That’s why we have to talk about it and explain what it really contains and what it means. Yun ang kailangan naming ipaliwanag sa bawat isa,” the lawmaker stressed.
Even the “itemizations” of the alleged lump sums of the Senate, he said, were all agreed upon in the bicameral conference committee. The bicam report was later ratified by the Senate and the House.
Andaya pointed out that they only itemized the lump sums in the ratified GAB.
“It’s detailed because of the bicam report,” he said. “And the point being is you’re saying it’s the house that made the details? No. it’s the Senate that gave the last detail, they gave their last amendment on March 7…”
He also explained that itemization of lump sum funds after ratification had been a long-standing practice since 1987.
“You can never do the details without approving first the whole amount so you approve first the whole amount and then that’s when the both houses provide for the details for whatever lump sums they have approved,” Andaya said.
“You can’t itemize something which you don’t even know what to itemize so that’s the procedure being undertaken…” he further said. /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.