Senate sends budget measure to Duterte

Vicente Sotto III

SENATE President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III has already signed the 2019 national budget worth P3.7 trillion but accompanied it with a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte requesting him to veto inserted “unconstitutional” provisions.

Sotto said the enrolled bill which he signed “with reservations” is now on its way to Malacañang for the signature of the President.

In his letter to the President, Sotto said that there are P75 billion worth of programs and projects under the Local Infrastructure Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways funded through internal realignments after the bicam report was ratified. 

Sotto said attached in Annex 1 of the letter is the list of P95 billion worth of programs and projects, including the P75 billion funded from the realignments.

Sotto clarified that his attestation to the veracity of the enrolled bill is limited only to those items approved by the bicameral conference committee and ratified by both houses of Congress.

He claimed that the realigned cuts came from DPWH’s organizational outcome 1 or the asset preservation program, network development program and bridge program and organizational outcome 2 or the flood management program and convergence and support program.

He called the insertions “unconstitutional”.

“The President may wish to consider disapproving these unconstitutional realignments, pursuant to his constitutional power to veto particular items in the General Appropriations Bill,” Sotto said.