Congress seeks to ratify budget on Friday
Congress will hold sessions in ratifying the 2019 national budget on Friday before the House of Representative and Senate adjourn for three months.
In a statement Thursday, Senator Ping Lacson said Senator Loren Legarda was not able to present during the Senate caucus what she and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. agreed upon regarding the 2019 national budget.
Lacson said Legarda explained what is expected in the bicameral report for the ratification on Friday.
He also added that the House of the Representatives and Department of Public Works and Highways insertions were retained in the proposed budget.
"The P160 million per House member plus the billion-peso insertions made by a number of their colleagues, and the P23-billion Department of Public Works and Highways insertions by a number of senators plus other insertions in different agencies have all been retained," he said.
Lacson has been questioning the "pork insertions" by House member as well as the one in DPWH. However, Lacson said that on the bright side, the budget allocated for flood control as well as the other amendments have been retained.
"On a positive note, all appropriations for flood control, particularly dredging, desilting and the like have been deleted to be realigned to capital outlay for purchase of dredging machines," said Lacson.
"Also, the DOH (Department of Health) realignment that the Senate introduced and most of my institutional amendments have been retained like the 240-day-a-year school feeding program for wasted and nearly wasted school children, additional allowance for teachers, some appropriations cover for laws passed regarding our age old veterans, augmentation budget requested by the judiciary, activation of one infantry division, etc," he added.
Lacson urged President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic managers to examine the budget bill's final version submitted by the Congress. He said Duterte should use his veto power to "excise the line items that clearly look and smell like pork." Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS