MANILASenate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday backed Senator Panfilo Lacson's call for President Rodrigo Duterte to use his line-item veto power to remove the alleged "pork" insertions of lawmakers in the proposed 2019 national budget.
Kung nararapat, at kung talagang maliwanag na pork, bakit hindi? Dapat i-veto (If it is necessary, and if it is clearly pork, why not? It should be vetoed), Sotto said in an ambush interview.
At this point hindi namin talaga alam kung alin ang pork at hindi. Alam lang namin sa Senate, ano yung mga institutional amendments (At this point, we really do not know which one is a pork [insertion] or not. As far as the Senate is concerned, we only know the institutional amendments), he added.
The line-item veto is a power granted to the President to selectively veto certain parts of a bill without vetoing the entire bill.
Lacson earlier bared that each congressman would receive PHP160 million from the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), more than the previously reported PHP60-million allocation.
He also alleged that PHP23 billion was inserted by some senators in the DPWH budget.
Senator Loren Legarda, meanwhile, said the Senate targets to ratify the budget bill by Friday.
The government has been operating under a reenacted budget since January 1.
Congress failed to pass the national budget before the end of 2018 because of allegations of pork insertions. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency