Duterte threatens to veto entire 2019 national budget
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday threatened to veto the entire P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.
“Ang budget kasa-submit lang. I have to sign it pagbalik ko pa. Pinag-aralan pa galing Budget to the Office of the President,” Duterte said in a speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) sortie in Bacolod City.
“The Office of the President is not the budget, so ang legal ko magbasa uli. Ngayon pagka talagang tagilid ‘yan, I will outright veto the entire budget,” he added.
Malacañang received a copy of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on March 26, ending months of stalemate between the Senate and House of Representatives due to questionable allocations and alleged insertions.
“Eh hindi magkasundo ang Congress pati ang Senado eh, pati yung mga insertions diyan titignan ko. Pagka tagilid talaga, I will not hesitate to veto the entire budget. Eh ‘di pasensya tayong lahat,” Duterte said.
The government has been operating on a reenacted budget since the start of 2019 after Congress failed to pass the spending measure before the end of 2018.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Wednesday that Duterte would sign the budget on Monday, April 15. On Thursday, however, Panelo said the signing would not push through because the President was still reviewing the 2019 GAB.
The bill will nevertheless lapse into law if the President does not act on it 30 days after it was received by his office. /kga
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