Andaya hopes Rody will look at budget exposés

THE chairman of the House committee on appropriations has expressed hope President Rodrigo Duterte will consider all their exposés in the proposed 2019 P3.757-trillion national budget, including the Senate’s alleged unilateral action sabotaging the Chief Executive’s priority projects.

Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya, Jr., the panel chairman, stressed this after Duterte warned he may veto the entire national budget if he finds it problematic.

Andaya recalled the House of Representatives exposed the P83 billion that allegedly the Senate unilaterally cut down in the national budget, which would affect Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build Program.”

“We are confident the Office of the President would consider our exposes in their review of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill and find ways on how to restore the Senate budget cuts in the President’s veto message,” said Andaya.

“In making his final decision, I firmly believe that the President will take into consideration the drastic budget cuts imposed by the Senate. We have repeatedly warned that the billions of pesos slashed from the 2019 budget just to fund the senators’ pet projects would hamper the implementation of the President’s major infrastructure program,” Andaya pointed out.

Andaya urged the Senate to come clean on the budget controversy, stressing the leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo “cannot turn a blind eye on efforts by the Senate to sabotage the President’s priority programs and projects.”

“We cannot allow maneuverings from senators to retain a national budget riddled with discretionary lump sum funds. We exposed these sinister moves with the end in view of providing the taxpaying public with a clear picture of where their monies are spent,” Andaya explained.

Earlier, Andaya said vetoing the entire 2019 P3.757-trillion national budget would prevent the Senate from sabotaging the priority projects of President Duterte.

“If President Duterte eventually decides to adopt a reenacted budget throughout the year, that will give him an opportunity to restore more than P80 billion which was slashed by the Senate from allocations intended for the President’s projects. After all, that is the President’s budget and his priorities should not be tinkered with,” Andaya added.