MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers will respect President Rodrigo Duterte’s exercise of his veto power on the proposed P3.7-trillion 2019 national budget.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said vetoing the entire budget and other proposed bills that are illegal and do not agree with his programs is a president’s prerogative under the Philippine constitution.
“To veto the entire budget is a prerogative and power of the President under the constitution if he is of the opinion that the budget bill is unconstitutional, or does not support his program of government,” Drilon said.
“That is how our system is outlined in the Constitution–the President has the final say,” he said.
Senate Finance Committee chairperson Loren Legarda also echoed Drilon’s statement.
“That’s the president’s prerogative and we will respect whatever his decision will be,” Legarda said.
House leaders also assured to respect the President’s veto power, stressing that this will be for the common good of the country.
“We respect the veto power of the President, and we are convinced that he will exercise such authority for the benefit of the nation and of our people,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rolando Andaya, Jr.
On Thursday, Duterte threatened to veto the entire budget if it turns out problematic.
“The budget has just been submitted. I have to sign it once I return. I am still studying the budget,” he said during a campaign sortie in Bacolod City.
“So ang legal ko magbasa uli. Ngayon pagka talagang tagilid ‘yan, (My legal team is reviewing it. Now, if it’s really problematic)
I will outright veto the entire budget,” he added.
The passage of the proposed spending program was long delayed due to an impasse between lawmakers over the alleged realignments made by the House of Representatives after the bill was ratified by both chambers of Congress.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed strong reservations when he signed the enrolled copy of the bill in late March, maintaining that the P75-billion worth of projects under the local infrastructure program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) funded through the “internal realignments” were “unconstitutional.”
Andaya, in turn, slammed Sotto’s “unwarranted” move and accused the Senate of snipping down funds for infrastructure projects.
According to Senator Koko Pimentel, Duterte’s threat to veto the entire budget may be the President’s way of saying to Congress to “get your act together.”
“The country will survive a year without a budget (by operating under the previous year’s budget),” he added.
The government has been operating on a reenacted budget since January after the Congress failed to pass the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Act on time.
But Duterte’s economic advisers have warned that a reenacted budget until April could slow down full-year economic growth to as much as 6.3 percent; 4.9 percent to 5.1 percent if the budget is enacted in August and 4.2 percent to 4.9 percent if no new budget is signed this year.
Malacañang earlier said the 2019 budget bill may be signed after the Lenten break as the President is still perusing the document.
The Palace statement came after it withdrew an earlier advisory on the tentative schedule of the budget’s signing on April 15.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the supposed event was removed from the President’s schedule for next week, stressing that all his schedules are subject to change without prior notice. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Nel Maribojoc)
by UNTV News | Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – A leader of the House of Representatives on Monday urged Malacañang to bare the details of the provisions in the 2019 national budget that were vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. made the call after Duterte signed the 2019 General Appropriations Act but vetoed more than P95 billion items of appropriations in the details of the projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Andaya said the Palace should reveal the details of the vetoed provisions “in the interest of transparency and for the guidance of the public.”
“I urge Malacañang to release the President’s veto message in full immediately so that we can base our reaction on the official document,” he said in a statement.
The lawmaker also hinted that the Senate’s alleged pork barrel remains intact in the newly-signed 2019 budget, saying this could be the reason why Senators are in celebratory mood over the deletion of the House amendments amounting to P95.3 billion.
“My friends in the Senate are going to town claiming victory over the deletion of the House amendments. Does this mean that the Senate port remains intact? Could this be the reason for their celebratory mood?” Andaya said.
The solon also argued that the President’s veto on several items in the budget could be “conditional” in nature.
“I believe that the veto being speculated about is of the conditional kind. As such, the appropriation remains but its release is subject to conditions,” he said.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a text message on Monday that Duterte vetoed some parts in the budget that were not part of the administration’s “programmed priorities.”
Andaya has been insisting that the realignments they made were not post-ratification as these had been authorized by the bicameral conference committee report and did not exceed the expenditure ceilings of respective departments and agencies.
He also said that Senate President Vicente Sotto’s signing of the budget bill with strong reservations was ill-advised and baseless.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the P3.757 trillion national budget for 2019, Malacañang said on Monday.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed this in a text message sent to reporters.
Medialdea said Duterte signed the budget on April 15 but vetoed parts of the bill.
“The President, among others, vetoed P95.3 billion items of appropriations in the details of DPWH programs/projects, which are not within the programmed priorities,” Medialdea said.
Duterte signed the long-delayed budget without holding a ceremonial signing. Malacañang earlier said the scheduled signing of the 2019 spending program may be pushed back until after the Lenten season, pending the President’s review.
The government has been running on a reenacted budget since January after the Congress failed to pass the proposed 2019 spending program on time.
The 2019 General Appropriations Act was transmitted to the Office of the President after it was ratified by the House of Representatives and Senate in February.
However, its enactment was delayed due to alleged “unconstitutional” realignments that prompted Senate President Vicente Sotto III to sign the budget with “strong reservations” in late March.
Sotto and other senators had previously questioned the P75-billion worth of projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that were allegedly inserted by the lower house after the bill was ratified.
But House members have maintained that the realignments were not illegal and, in turn, accused the Senate of snipping the budget for infrastructure projects.– Robie de Guzman (with details from Rosalie Coz)
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed willingness to create a new panel to talk peace with Communist rebels.
Duterte made the remark nearly a month after he abolished the previous government peace panel and terminated the appointments of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and three others as government peace negotiators.
The President said he might tap three military representatives and two civilians to comprise the new peace panel.
“Pero makigistorya ka, magpadala ko’g laing tao, pag-istorya mo. Di na ko,” he said during a visit to Bukidnon last Saturday.
(If you want to talk to me, I’ll send someone else. You talk to each other. I don’t want to talk anymore.)
“’Di mangita ko’g bag-o. Bag-ong paagi, bag-ong tawong makig-istorya. Basig duha, o usa, o tulo ana militar. Unya ang… Mga lima. Duha ka sibilyan, tulo ka military,” he added.
(I’ll look for another way and new people to talk to. Maybe one, two, or three from the military, and… Maybe around five. Two civilians and three from the military.)
The Chief Executive also explained that he abolished the previous government peace panel since the talks with the communist rebels were not successful.
“Katong peace panel, ako nang gibuwag. Dugay na eh. Three years, wala koy nahimo,” he said.
(I abolished the peace panel too. It’s been three years but I wasn’t even able to achieve anything.)
Duterte permanently terminated the formal negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army (CPP-NDF-NPA) in November 2017 following a string of attacks staged by the NPA rebels against government troops.
The President said that rebels could try to talk peace with his successor instead and the government will focus on conducting localized peace engagements. – Robie de Guzman
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