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Drilon confident Senate can pass budget within 1st week of January session

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Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon on Sunday expressed confidence that the chamber could pass the P3.757-trillion budget before the end of the first week of session in January next year.

“Pagbalik namin sa Enero 14, ipagpatuloy namin ang debate. Ako ay kampante na bago matapos ang unang linggo ng sesyon, aming matatapos ang budget at bicam na,” he said in an interview on DZBB.

This means the government’s first month of January would be under a reenacted 2018 budget.

Drilon said the Senate did not bother to hold a special session to pass the budget because there was simply no more time.

“Kahit mag-special session, di pwedeng ipilit kasi maraming dapat tignan. Huli na dumating sa amin, habang tinatalakay kung ano ano ang lumabas like P75 billion na insertion na di alam ng DPWH, meron pa sa DILG na P16.8 billion, di rin nila alam so maraming ganito di pwedeng madaliin,” he said.

Drilon said it was not true that the government would suffer massive losses under a reenacted budget.

“Hindi totoo. Yun po ay nung panahon ni Speaker GMA na ilang beses Marso na naaprub ang budget pero ang ekonomiya di naapektuhan. May resolution kami na i-extend ang MOOE at CO, pwede pa gamitin ang old budget,” he said.

As for the looming pay increases for soldiers and police officers, he said they could still be given retroactively.

“Ang sweldo naman nila di nakukuha ng katapusan ng buwan, so bago matapos ang buwan aprub na ang budget,” Drilon said.