Delayed 2021 budget the Senate’s fault? Sotto says ‘don’t be misled’
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday insisted that the sudden move for an early congressional break in the House of Representatives pushed back the passage of the 2021 national budget for one month.
“Do not be misled. The HOR (House of Representatives) has delayed the budget for a whole month. No one can ever blame the Senate for this delay. NEVER!” Sotto said in a tweet.
Sotto’s pronouncement comes after Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said it would be the Senate’s fault if the enactment of the P4.5 trillion budget would be delayed.
“One day lang po ang diperensya and I hope that maging malinaw ito because kung magkakaroon po ng delay o reenactment, it will be because of the Senate not because of the House, because we are only talking about only one day,” Cayetano said in a Facebook live on Wednesday.
Earlier, senators warned of a re-enacted budget for 2021 after Cayetano and his allies moved to abruptly suspend the House’s session before the lower chamber can submit the approved spending bill to the Senate.
Sotto and Senator Panfilo Lacson said this sudden move from the House can delay the budget’s passage for a month.
“One month delayed na, hindi pa sila pasado on third reading (they did not pass it third reading),” Sotto reiterated in a separate Viber message to reporters.
Amid the seething speakership row, the House of Representatives approved on second reading Tuesday the proposed national budget and moved to suspend session until November 16.
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