(Eagle News) — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday, March 15, said some members of the House of Representatives were only “confusing the public” with the term they used to describe what they did to the proposed national budget already ratified by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“There is a whale of a difference between itemization and realignments of what have been approved by the joint bicameral conference committee and ratified in plenary by both houses of Congress,” Lacson said.
The House had said they resorted to the “itemization” to make the proposed national budget easier to scrutinize.
Lacson said, however, that what the House members did was “realign” funds that were not in their district in the ratified bill to that district.
According to Lacson, instead of engaging in “obfuscation and personal attacks” on senators, the House leaders “should instead pursue a sensible dialogue with the Senate leadership.”
“Otherwise, we will have no choice but deal with the next House leadership come July,” he said.
The government is so far operating on a reenacted budget, as the impasse between the Senate and the House of Representatives over the General Appropriations Act of 2019 remained.
This was despite President Rodrigo Duterte stepping in on Tuesday, March 12, when he met the leaders of both houses of Congress.
Senate President Tito Sotto has said he would not sign a budget bill that had not been ratified by both the Senate and the House
Duterte has said he would not sign an “illegal document.”