SENATOR Panfilo “Ping” Lacson yesterday lambasted the House of Representatives for the delay in passing the General Appropriations Bill which he said is due to the insertions in the form of pork barrel the congressmen made.
Lacson feared that there is a possibility of a re-enacted budget in 2019.
“And I dare say, it’s all the fault of the Lower House that their insertions aka pork barrel allocations, which I guess is their main reason for the delay, will not be implemented if the national government operates under a re-enacted budget. It serves them right,” Lacson stressed.
“They can’t anymore make amendments after approval on 2nd reading. They defy the rules just to make way for their pork,” he added.
The lower house, said IT will be able to submit to the Senate the GAB only this coming November 28.
Lacson said that by then, the Senate will only have six session days left before Congress adjourns on December 12 even if they include Thursday in their calendar.
He added that once the House approved the measure on third reading, it will take 10 days to print the GAB prior to transmittal to the Senate.
“We are not superheroes in the Senate to finish scrutinizing the House version of the budget bill, including all the study and research prior to plenary debates, amendments etc.,” the senator said.
With this, Senate Majority Floor Leader Migz Zubiri suggested to his colleagues to extend their session days per week instead of extending their session schedule before the Christmas break.
In his proposal, Zubiri suggested to include Thursday and Friday in their session days in the first week of December. With this, they will be able to finish their deliberation of the national budget by December 14.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III earlier aired the possibility that the Senate will extend their session until December 19 in order to finish the budget deliberation on their side.