Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House 'insertion' | Inquirer News
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Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’

/ 12:48 PM November 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday refreshed memories regarding the reason for the delay in the approval of the 2019 national budget, which some lawmakers now blame for the snafus in the Philippines’ hosting of the 30th SEA Games.

Lacson, in a television interview, stressed that it was the P75 billion insertions of the House of Representatives in the then-proposed 2019 budget that caused the setback in the swift approval of this year’s national expenditure program.

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‘How l Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House 'insertion' ong can we take the bullying of China?’ – Lacson

Sen. Panfilo Lacson. INQUIRER file photo

Lacson, known for flagging down alleged pork funds in the nation’s budget, was apparently refuting the claims of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and 1PACMAN party-list Rep. Mikee Romero, who earlier put the blame on the Senate’s supposed delay of the 2019 budget approval for the current woes faced by the Philippines’ SEA Games hosting.

“That’s too far from the truth. Everybody knows by now, it created a lot of controversies then. During the speakership of GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) the budget was delayed because even after both houses ratified the bicam report, ‘yan ang (that’s the) final version, and yet they still inserted around P75 billion,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

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“That we could not agree to. So what we did was to again scrutinize and find out which of those P75 billion worth of projects ‘yung napasok (was inserted) after or post-bicam ratification,” he added.

Lacson maintained that those insertions were unconstitutional since the Constitution provides that there should not be amendments to the proposed budget after the third and final reading.

He also explained that the Senate only had to scrutinize the budget as part of its duty and should not be blamed for the delay.

“We did not cause it. It was the House of Representatives that really caused the delay in the passage of the budget,” Lacson said.

The senator then disclosed that he wants a transparent bicameral conference once Congress convenes for the approval of the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020.

According to him, this will prevent “bulungan (whispers)” among lawmakers.

“On the other hand, if the public will witness the proceedings, ‘di ba mas behaved kami (will we not behave better)? Walang bulungan (There won’t be any whispers)?” said Lacson.

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“I want it transparent. I want it public. Not necessarily covered by media,” he said.

To recall, a series of mishaps have been reported since foreign athletes for the 2019 SEA Games started arriving on Saturday, November 23 – from transportation, accommodation, food quality, and food supplies to unfinished facilities that will be used for the biennial regional multi-sports event.

Edited by KGA

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TAGS: 2019 national budget, budget insertions, dpwh, favors of office, Local news, Nation, national news, News, Panfilo Lacson, Philippine news updates, Politics, SEA Games 2019
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