Senate signs 2019 budget ''with strong reservations''
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday announced that the P3.757 trillion 2019 national budget has been signed and sent to the Palace "with strong reservations."
In a press conference at the Senate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he signed the budget bill "with strong reservations" on the post-bicameral realignments made by the House of Representatives.
The government has been running on last year's budget since January 1 due to the clash between the Senate and the House of Representatives.
"I already signed the enrolled copy. It's now going to be an enrolled bill presented to the president but I placed my reservations on the signature," Sotto said.
"I affix my signature with strong reservations. My attestation is limited only to those items approved by the Bicameral Conference Committee and ratified by both Houses of Congress," he wrote in a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Sotto said they urged Duterte to veto the P75 billion worth of "internal realignments for the proposed programs or projects under the Local Infrastructure Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The Senate stood by its decision that the realignments are unconstitutional.
"The President may wish to consider disapproving these unconstitutional realignments, pursuant to his constitutional power to veto particular items in the General Appropriations Bill," Sotto said. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS