Andaya hints Senate pork intact in Duterte-signed 2019 budget
MANILA, Philippines — Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., hinted Monday that the Senate’s alleged pork is intact in the 2019 national budget which President Rodrigo Duterte has signed.
Andaya, who chairs House appropriations committee, said this could be the reason why the Senate was “going to town claiming victory” over the deletion of the House amendments amounting to P95.3 billion.
“My friends in the Senate are going to town claiming victory over the deletion of the House amendments. Does this mean that the Senate pork remains intact? Could this be the reason for their celebratory mood?” Andaya said in a statement even as House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro had already welcomed the President’s move to veto portions of the spending bill.
“Hindi Biyernes Santo sa Senado ngayon kundi Pasko,” he added.
[It’s not Good Friday in the Senate but Christmas.]
Andaya repeated his call for the Senate to disclose its own insertions in the General Appropriations Bill.
“It behooves the Senate to tell the people how much in their insertions were carried in the national budget. And how big is the bacon each senator is bringing home?” the lawmaker asked.
The House leader also asked Malacañang to release the President’s veto message in full immediately, arguing that the Chief Executive’s veto could be “conditional” in nature.
“The President can also place several provisions under conditional implementation and attach requisites before an appropriation can be released so that such act complies with the laws,” Andaya explained. “I believe that the veto being speculated about is of the conditional kind.”
The President had already signed the spending bill, but Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said Duterte vetoed some portions that were “not within the programmed priorities.”
Senate President Vicente Sotto III signed the GAB last March 26, but he asked the President to veto the P75 billion worth of local infrastructure programs which he said was “unconstitutionally” realigned by the House after the budget bill was ratified on Feb. 8.
Andaya has been insisting that the realignments the House made were “not post-ratification” because these had been authorized by the bicameral conference committee report, and “did not exceed the expenditure ceilings of respective departments and agencies” as approved in the bicam report.
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.