Duterte signs 2019 national budget; vetoes P95.3B
Updated @ 11:16 p.m., April 15, 2019, to add more quotes
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the 2019 national budget, Malacañang said on Monday.
“Yes,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said when asked if Duterte had signed the budget.
“The President, among others, vetoed 95.3 billion pesos items of appropriations in the Details of DPWH Programs/Projects, which are not within the programmed priorities,” Medialdea added.
He said the President signed the budget on Monday.
The government has been operating on a reenacted budget since the start of 2019 after Congress failed to pass the budget in 2019 due to alleged insertions and questionable allocations.
The President received the enrolled General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on March 26.
Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III also confirmed on Monday night the signing of the national budget.
Asked what was vetoed by the President, Sotto said in a text message, “Yun recommended naming P75B plus P20.3 billion pa.”
When he signed the enrolled copy of the budget last March 26, the Senate leader affixed his signature with strong reservations and asked the President to consider vetoing the P75 billion “unconstitutional realignments.”0
In a statement, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the 2019 budget as “the reflection of the Administration’s vision of genuine change for the Philippines, where effective and efficient delivery of programs, projects and public services for our people will be its hallmark.”
“True to his commitment and constitutional duty to be fealty to the constitutional directives, the President vetoed items of appropriation that are either considered by law and jurisprudence as rider provisions not being related to a particular appropriation or they seek to amend the Constitution and certain statutes,” Panelo said.
“The Chief Executive also vetoed items of appropriations under the Department of Public Works and Highways for falling outside the government’s programmed priorities which are in the total amount of P95,374,241,000,” he added.
The President, Panelo said, also “subjected certain provisions to conditional implementation in order to ensure conformity with existing laws, rules and regulations, such as the allowance and benefits of teachers and creation of teaching positions, construction of evacuation centers, funding for foreign-assisted projects, revolving fund, and lump-sum appropriations for capital outlays, as well as financial assistance to local government units and funding requirements of our foreign service, among others.”
The Senate and the House had locked horns over the alleged unconstitutional realignments or “pork” in the budget. –With a report from Maila Ager
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