Senate backs convening of special session for supplemental budget that includes contentious House “itemizations”

(Eagle News)–Senate President Tito Sotto is pushing for a supplemental budget  that will include what the House of Representatives said were its itemizations in order to break the impasse between both houses of Congress.

In an interview over CNN Philippines, Sotto said the proposal was made by Senator Panfilo Lacson to San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.

“The suggestion was that, again, get back, recall the submitted [General Appropriations Bill] to us. And from there, we could probably amend or let the President veto that portion, then we can convene kahit [even] one day for a special session and pass a joint resolution approving a supplemental budget for that,” Sotto said.

Sotto revealed Lacson’s proposal after the deadlock between the Senate and the House of Representatives over the budget was not broken even after President Rodrigo Duterte met with both sides on Tuesday, March 12.

Lacson has accused the House led by Speaker Gloria Arroyo of  “manipulating” the proposed national budget already ratified by both the Upper and Lower houses.

But House appropriations chair Rolando Andaya Jr. said they merely itemized the proposed budget to make it easier to scrutinize.

Sotto, for his part, said he would not sign any proposed budget with the so-called itemizations.

Duterte, whose signature is needed for the proposed budget to become law, has said he would not sign an “illegal” document.