By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that the proposed 2021 national budget of P4.5 trillion will be passed on time despite the change in leadership in the House of Representatives, according to his spokesman.
“Now, the President is very optimistic na mapapasa po yan kasi naisantabi na nga po ang politika and they can now concentrate on passing the budget in the House,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
The Lower House formally elected Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as the new Speaker, replacing Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano who previously refused to honor their term-sharing agreement.
A total of 186 congressmen voted for Velasco to take over the post on Tuesday.
Duterte has repeatedly asked lawmakers to set aside politics and pass the proposed 2021 budget, which the lower chamber failed to do so because it decided to suspend the sessions until November 16.
Consequently, Proclamation 1027 was issued by the chief executive for Congress to hold a special session from October 13 to 16 and deliberate on the budget measure.