Sotto wants reenacted budget amid ‘pork’ allegations

MANILASenate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday said he will propose for the withdrawal of the Senate-approved General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 2019 and push for the reenactment of the national budget.

Sotto made the statement following several allegations of "pork insertions" in the 2019 budget hounding the House of Representatives (HOR) and the Senate.

"Considering the numerous allegations being leveled at the 2019 budget both from the HOR and the Senate, I will propose to Sen. Loren (Legarda), as Chair of the Finance Committee, to withdraw the Senate GAB version and go for a reenacted budget," Sotto told reporters in a message.

"I hope that will erase all doubts and allegations of pork and other so-called insertions in the budget," he added, noting that he is "sick and tired" of the allegations.

Sotto assured that the 2019 elections won't be affected with a reenacted budget since there is already an allocation for it in the 2018 appropriations.

The Senate approved on third and final reading the proposed 2019 budget on January 21, two months after the House approved its own version of the bill.

The bicameral conference reconvened on Monday to proceed with their deliberations on the differing provisions of the spending bill.

It has been temporarily agreed upon by the bicam to re-prioritize some PHP50 billion from the total PHP3.8-trillion budget for 2019.

Legarda earlier said their goal is to approve the budget before session is adjourned on February 6 and, hopefully, be signed by the President by Valentine's Day.

Currently, the government has started operating under a reenacted budget since January 1 this year. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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