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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Thursday the senators would have their work cut out for them amid the anticipated last-minute amendments by House members to the proposed 2021 budget.

He said on DWIZ radio that the Senate was expecting huge changes in the General Appropriations Bill once transmitted by the House due to the new changes introduced to the measure by a small committee even after the bill was already passed on third reading last Friday.

“Tama po iyan kaya nagkagulo sila sa leadership sa HOR dahilan sa uneven na allocation sa mga distrito. Kaya gagawin nila ay ikakalat yung mga bumubukol na pondo,” Drilon said.

“Kaya mas mahirap ang trabaho ng senado ngayon. Susuriin isa-isa at titingnan kung tama o doble. Hindi po madali ito,” he said.

Drilon said the Senate’s job of scrutinizing the 2021 outlay had become more challenging.

“Tama po iyan. Hindi madali. Dati kasi more or less alam mo na dahilan sa pag-umpisa pa lang ng debate sa kamara alam mo na kung ano ang itsura ng budget. Ngunit ito maraming binago dahilan sa hindi tama ang submission,” he said.

Drilon echoed Senator Ping Lacson’s assertion that under the Constitution, the House was not allowed to introduce changes to the budget bill once it passed last reading.

“Sa ating Saligang Batas, pagkatapos ipasa ng 3rd reading, dapat printing na lang at wala ng amendments. Ngayon nagkabuhul-buhol na, approval on third reading on paper, dahilan sa may small committee silang ginawa na tatanggap ng mga insertions o amendments,” he said.

“Kaya po hindi kaagad maisumite. Ang sabi ko nga, dapat apat na araw lang matapos ang printing. Ngunit hindi nila matatapos. Sa katunayan, nabasa ko sa pahayagan na ang ibibigay nila ay advance copy lang sa October 29,” Drilon said.

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