Dedma: Recto, Angara shrugs off Alvarez’s hardline stance on 2018 budget
Senators merely laughed at the threat of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to take a hard stance against any amendments in the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for next year and hinted at a possible re-enacted budget if the upper chamber would not adopt the lower house version.
“Panoorin nyo na lang, may bibigay diyan,” Sen. Sonny Angara, chair of the ways and means committee, said.
Angara expressed confidence that there would be a meeting of the minds to prevent a possible stalemate that could result to the re-enactment of the proposed budget.
“Kanya kanyang negotiating style dyan eh. I mean, sa tagal ko na sa pulitika, may nakita akong tough-talking pero at the end of the day may bumibigay din. Kasi kung walang batas, kung talagang hindi bibigay, tabla table lang eh di walang batas (for the national budget). Ganun lang yun eh,” he said.
Asked if the House of Representatives would often give in, Angara said there were instances when the upper chamber also has to give in and soften its stance.
But it’s understandable if the Senate will insist on introducing amendments in the lower house version as it is part of their mandate, Angara said.
“We have to argue for the Senate because that’s what the senators voted on so ganun talaga yun,” he explained.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, in another interview, expressed optimism that there would be an agreement between the two Houses.
“I don’t expect a re-enacted budget. That’s not good for the country. It will be a P300-billion-less budget (for next year) so I don’t expect a re-enacted budget,” he said.
“Negotiating posture lang ‘yan. Don’t take too much out of it. I’m confident there will be an agreement. I’m sure it will not be difficult to come to terms with the (lower) house,” Recto added.