Senate President Vicente Sotto III has signed the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 despite Senator Panfilo Lacson’s allegation it contains billions of pesos in pork barrel funds
Sotto on Saturday (December 22) said he saw no need to annotate the signed copy of the budget– unlike what he did in the 2019 budget– because he already had an understanding with Lacson, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado and President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Alam na ni Presidente. Kausap ko na si Senator Lacson at si Avisado. Alam na ni Presidente. ‘Di na kailangan ng annotation,” he said, without elaborating.
Pressed for details of what the President knows, Sotto said: “We have an understanding, period. ‘Yun na ‘yun.”
Lacson claimed that House members inserted billions of pesos in pork barrel funds in the 2020 general appropriations bill before the bicameral conference committee report was approved and subsequently ratified by both chambers of Congress.
While Sotto already signed the budget bill, he said Duterte may sign it into law on January 6 due to the long printing process and the holidays.
He, however, said the signing of the 2020 budget in January will have minimal impact on government spending.