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House approved budget a replica of Palace version, Castro tells Lacson

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Former House Majority Floor Leader Fredenil Castro (Capiz) insisted that the approved General Appropriations Bill (GAB) under House Bill 4228 is the “replica” of the 2020 National Expenditure Program submitted by Malacañang to Congress.

“The GAB is the replica of the NEP which was submitted to the House of Representatives,” said Castro during the majority bloc’s weekly news forum.

Castro on Tuesday called the attention of Sen. Panfilo Lacson for allegedly “spreading disinformation” about the P1.6-billion augmentation fund sought by lawmakers for 2020 budget of the House of Representatives.

Lacson earlier said all 22 deputy speakers will receive an additional allocation of P1.5 billion each, while each congressman would supposedly to get P700 million under the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020.

Castro said Lacson’s pronouncement “is not only eroding the reputation” of the House of Representatives as an institution but also it “shatters the idealism” of neophyte lawmakers especially that it came from colleague of a coordinate branch of the legislative body.

Castro stressed that while anyone who is concerned about the statement of Lacson may draw their own conclusion, but they just “gave the President what he asked.”

Castro reminded Lacson that all appropriations bill emanates from the House of Representatives and the obligation of the Senates’ “only to review or to revise” but the origin of the appropriation bill comes from the 305-man chamber.

“I would say that he must have overstepped his function because at this point in time they cannot interfere with the budget appropriation before it is transmitted to them by the House of Representatives,” said Castro.

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