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Gahol na talaga: Zubiri sees further delay in 2019 budget’s passage due to joint session for martial law extension


The passage of the 2019 P3.7 trillion budget will be affected if there will be a joint session of Congress to tackle the extension of martial law.

Senator Migz Zubiri pointed this out on Friday when asked if the impending joint session will affect the budget schedule.

“Well, that would delay the budget schedule because we start 10 in the morning everyday,” Zubiri said in an interview.

“Definitely, it will delay because we will have to travel,” the Senate majority leader said.

“Siyempre pupunta kami sa kongreso para sa joint session. At dahil d’yan maantala ang passage of the budget on Wednesday,” he said.

Zubiri added, “Ang plano kasi namin by Wednesday sana ma second and third reading na namin ang budget and proceed now to a bicam and maybe have a special session next week to ratify.”

“Kaya ang pakiusap ko po sa Malacanang kung magtatawag po sila ng joint session sana sa umaga ng Wednesday, hindi po hapon kasi kung hapon talagang alanganin na,” he said.

“Kasi ang plano po namin kung magtatawag sila ng special session ng umaga, punta po kami ng kongreso para dun at babalik po kami ng hapon,” he said.

Zubiri hopes that at by 1 o’clock the Senate can resume consideration on the budget bill “so that we can take up at least another 8 hours to 10 hours that day.”

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to approve it that day for third and final reading,” the senator from Bukidnon said.

“I’m hopeful ha marami akong kausap na colleagues na parang ano sila, pessimistic. Ako, I’m optimistic. kaya talaga,” he said.

Zubiri added, “Sa flow ng nakikita po natin everyday kaya naman talaga. But ang question diyan is kung papayag ba ang kongreso na magkaroon tayo ng special session next week kasi we have to ratify after the deliberations on the bicam.”

“Basta my commitment is we’ll work 12 to 14 hours a day even during the special session na itatawag ng Malacanang para sa martial law extension,” he said.

“And we’ll try to finish it next week third and final reading. Ngayon ‘yung bicam ‘di na namin ma predict ‘yun. That’s a separate body altogether,” he said.

He said that there are two trains of thought: one is to have the bicam or rather the ratification still during the break and the other is when we get back on January 14.