MANILA MalacaAang on Friday said the country's economic managers are preparing for the possible repercussions of a re-enacted budget for the Philippine economy after President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he may veto the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 2019.
"Our economic managers have contingency plans prepared, responsive to any conceivable event, and they will correspondingly adjust their targets, which include the execution of programs and projects relating to infrastructure as well as the delivery of basic services to the people," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, clarified that Duterte's remarks on vetoing the budget will only happen " if there is a finding by him of any legal or constitutional infirmity relative to the provisions of the same transmitted to his office by Congress".
"As a lawyer and strict enforcer of the rule of law, the President treads cautiously in performing his constitutional duty making sure that before he inks his signature to the document, the latter does not violate our Constitution, as well as related jurisprudence on the matter," he said.
He noted the serious accusations hurled by the House of Representatives and the Senate against each other on certain unconstitutional insertions.
"The Office of the President is exercising utmost care in the review and evaluation of the GAB. It is poring over the details of the document and checking which items therein may be constitutionally infirm or legally unacceptable pursuant to the President's power and duty to ensure that the law is enforced and the Constitution is free from any violation," he said.
Panelo reiterated the Duterte administration's adherence to the rule of law.
"While we are very eager and devoted to implement policies that will benefit Filipinos, this Administration is equally committed to being a stickler for the rule of law," he said.
The government has been operating on a reenacted budget since January 1 after lawmakers failed to pass the bill last year due to allegations of pork "insertions".
The passage of the 2019 budget was further stalled due to allegations of last-minute amendments made by the House after both chambers of Congress ratified the bicameral conference committee report.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier announced that he has signed the proposed PHP3.7-trillion national budget with strong reservations.
Sotto appealed to Duterte to veto unconstitutional provisions amid allegations that some PHP75 billion had been realigned by the House of Representatives to benefit various lawmakers. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency