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Andaya on budget passage, veto: ‘Hindi Biyernes Santo sa Senado ngayon kundi Pasko’

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House committee on appropriations chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. on Monday expressed puzzlement over why the Senate was rejoicing over news that President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed P95.3 billion of realignments made by lawmakers on the 2019 budget.

Andaya said: “My friends in the Senate are going to town claiming victory over the deletion of the House amendments.”

“Does this mean that the Senate pork remains intact? Could this be the reason for their celebratory mood. Hindi Biyernes Santo sa Senado ngayon kundi Pasko,” he added.

Duterte signed the budget on Monday but vetoed a part of it containing items that were not within the “programmed priorities,” according to Malacañang.

Andaya, however, said the Senate should also release their own individual amendments on the budget.

“It behooves the Senate to tell the people how much in their insertions were carried in the national budget? And how big is the bacon each senator is bringing home?” the Camarines Sur representative said.

“On the part of the House, we have been transparent as to the authorship of the amendments. The Senate has been silent about theirs. It’s time to break their Omerta,” Andaya said.

Earlier, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the President vetoed the items added by lawmakers to the budget which were not within the “programmed priorities.”

“The President, among others, vetoed 95.3 Billion pesos items of appropriations in the Details of DPWH Programs/Projects, which are not within the programmed priorities,” Medialdea said.

The signing of the budget law means the government can finally fund new projects this year. It had been operating on a reenacted budget since January due to the delay in the passage of the budget measure.

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