Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. INQUIRER.NET PHOTO/CATHY MIRANDA
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday said the Senate was open to convene a special session to break the impasse over the 2019 budget.
Sotto said the Senate once again asked the House to recall the modified budget bill and restore it to its original version and just let President Rodrigo Duterte use his veto power over the lump-sum appropriations.
After that, Congress could convene a special session to address the vetoed portions and pass a joint resolution approving a supplemental budget.
“The suggestion was that again recall the submitted GAB (General Appropriations Bill) to us and from there we could probably amend or let the President veto that portion,” Sotto said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
“We can convene kahit one day for a special session and pass a joint resolution approving a supplemental budget for that particular portion of the budget,” he added.
He clarified that the portions of the budget that President Durterte would veto would not be removed from the budget and the Congress could pass a joint resolution to address those portions.
“‘Yung vineto nya, hindi naman mawawala yun eh. It will remain there. And therefore, we can convene in a special session and address that particular portion of the budget,” Sotto said.
READ: Sotto: Modified budget bill contains P96B House realignments
Earlier, Sotto claimed the House made P96 billion realignments even after the ratification of the 2019 national budget.
Senator Panfilo Lacson also claimed that Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had realigned close to P95 billion to districts of her allies in the House even after the ratification of the final version of the budget bill.
READ: Lacson: Arroyo allotted P95B in infra funds to her allies
READ: Andaya: House only itemizing, not manipulating 2019 budget
During a Tuesday night meeting with the President, the Senate asked the House to restore the budget to its original version. /cbb
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