House to respect Duterte veto on 2019 budget

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

THE leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will respect  President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s use of his veto power on the proposed 2019 P3.757-trillion national budget, stressing this will be for the common good of the country.

This was stressed by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya, Jr., who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, who earlier accused the Senate of sabotaging the programs of President Duterte, especially the “Build, Build, Build Program” after it allegedly snipped unilaterally some P83 billion in the national budget.

“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 Andaya.

Andaya said the Senate “may find itself liable to accusation of sabotage when it decided, unilaterally, to cut down the allocation for the President’s Build, Build, Build Program and other priority projects.”

“We are confident that the Office of the President would consider these items in their review and find ways on how to restore them in the President’s veto message,” said Andaya.

He asked the Senate to explain the fund sourcing sufficiency of government employees’ salaries, bonuses and allowances under the national budget after it allegedly slashed by P13.4-billion the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund (MPBF).

The House leader asked Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III what will happen to the benefits of employees if shortages arise.

Earlier, Andaya also questioned the P39-billion budget cut by the Senate in the Pension and Gratuity Fund that include pensions for war or military veterans of the Department of National Defense (DND) under the 2019 national budget.

Andaya had previously said the public should expect 320,000 Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) scholars, including drug dependents undergoing rehabilitation and rebel returnees to lose their scholarship after the Senate’s alleged unilateral action slashing its P3 billion budget.