Palace urges Senate, House to break budget impasse
Malacañang asked on Wednesday the Senate and the House of Representatives to break the impasse on the proposed P3.757-trillion budget for this year.
The Palace made the call after the Senate and the House leadership failed to resolve their differences despite a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang Tuesday night.
"We call on the Senators and Representatives to break the stalemate and deliver to the Filipino people an appropriations law that can aid this government better their lives and help our country move forward," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
During the meeting in Malacañang, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Duterte and the members of the executive department expressed support on the proposal of Senator Panfilo Lacson for the House to recall the enrolled copy of the General Appropriations Bill and to revert back to the bicameral report that both Houses approved in February.
But the House has yet to follow with what had been agreed upon.
The House leadership made some changes on the budget despite having a bicameral committee report already.
"There is a budget impasse due to some constitutional questions raised by both chambers. Only Congress can resolve and break this impasse," Panelo said.
He insisted that the executive branch had done its part in preparing the budget, noting that the Office of the President submitted the proposed budget for 2019 as early as July 23, 2018, 30 days before the deadline imposed by law.
"Consistent with the policy of non-interference with other co-equal branches of the government, at no instance that a presidential intervention was made despite delays on the deliberations on the GAB...the Executive has performed its constitutional task to submit its proposed budget, we await Congress to comply with its constitutional mandate to pass the same," said Panelo, also chief presidential legal counsel.
As soon as the enrolled bill on the budget is submitted to the Palace, he said Duterte would perform his constitutional duty to scrutinize it and if he finds it in conformity with the constitutional demands, he would sign it. Celerina Monte/DMS