Senate, House negotiators try to break budget deadlock Monday

MANILA Negotiators from both the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to meet on Monday to break the deadlock over the proposed 2019 national budget, Senator Loren Legarda said on Thursday.

Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance, hoped that they would be able to resolve the contentious issues on the budget bill during the meeting.

"We hope to meet on Monday and resolve the issue once and for all so the country can move forward," Legarda said.

Legarda said she will be joined by senators Panfilo Lacson and Gregorio Honasan II in meeting with their House counterparts next week.

The House of Representatives has "physically retrieved" its version of the proposed 2019 national budget from the Senate.

House appropriations committee chair Rolando Andaya Jr. said the move was in line with Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's instruction to "allow a last-ditch effort to break the impasse."

Andaya, however, clarified that the House is not withdrawing or backtracking on its earlier position.

"We maintain that the House did nothing unconstitutional, illegal, or irregular when we approved and ratified the 2019 GAB (General Appropriations Bill) in plenary session," Andaya said.

Andaya noted that the Speaker ordered the formation of a three-man House team that would meet with their Senate counterparts to address the budget issue within five days. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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