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No pork, no parked funds! House to pass 2020 budget by October – Cayetano

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House leadership has given an assurance to pass the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget on final reading by the first week of October.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano made the statement following reports of misunderstanding among congressional leaders over the withdrawal of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) last week.

“The House leadership, in a meeting today, sorted out all issues as to the procedure and goals for the 2020 budget,” said Cayetano.

Cayetano assured the public that next year’s budget will be scrutinized “but will not be delayed and will be transparent.”

“Pork and parking have no place in the 2020 budget,” said Cayetano.

Cayetano explained that he has requested all departments and agencies to submit the written presentations of their respective budget proposals before 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 3—in line with the commitment of the House leadership to the President that the approval of the 2020 GAB will be swift and timely.

“Thereafter, the rules committee will refer the 2020 GAB to the committee on appropriations for its consideration.”

A word war earlier has erupted between Committee on Appropriations chair Isidro Ungab and Deputy Speaker for Finance Luis Raymund Villafuerte after the Camarines Sur solon withdrew the legislation for the proposed 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) under House Bill No. 4228 during the plenary proceedings last August 28.

Ungab chided Villafuerte who is a party mate of Cayetano in the Nacionalista Party (NP) for his supposed intervention in the budget process.

Ungab in an interview accused Villafuerte of attempting to alter the GAB following his unilateral decision to recall the filing of HB4228.

The Davao City solon earlier warned that the withdrawal HB4228 will pave way for the revival of the Pork Barrel system.

Politiko earlier learned that Cayetano reportedly scolded Ungab in front of other members of the Appropriations panel for displaying strong opposition against the withdrawal of GAB, according to a congressional insider.

Cayetano later issued a statement, saying that they have already “sorted out all issues as to the procedure and goals for the 2020 budget.”

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