Budget ball now in Senate court — Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

THE House of Representatives already did its part of pushing for a “constitutional” 2019 P3.757-trillion national budget and it is up to Senate  President Vicente “Tito” Sotto if he wants President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte to have a new budget this year.

This was stressed by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who maintained that the House of Representatives ratified a legal and valid national budget by itemizing the lump sum funds.

“If we don’t come to an agreement and then Tito Sotto does not sign the bill, then there’s no bill to send to the President. So I do not know if we will but I would wish we would,” Arroyo told reporters in an ambush interview who stressed earlier that her leadership would not allow President Duterte to sign into law an appropriation measure that is unconstitutional.

Arroyo also clarified that the House of Representatives did not withdraw the budget documents it submitted to the Senate.

“No, we have not withdrawn our version. We’re in discussions about what is the proposed new version,” said Arroyo.

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said following conversation with San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora that the House of Representatives will withdraw the budget documents it sent to the Senate.

Arroyo tasked Zamora to negotiate with the Senate to break the budget impasse.

The Speaker insisted that the House of Representatives would not agree to the Senate’s seeming pro-lump sum funds position because the Supreme Court ruled against it.

“We will insist on no lump sum because that is what is unconstitutional. That’s what we will insist, no lump sum. Now, as to the details, that’s the one that we’ll see,” said Arroyo.