As senators and House members began discussing how to reconcile differences in their versions of the proposed P3.767 trillion budget for 2018 in the bicameral conference committee, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez raised the possibility of a reenacted budget if an agreement is not reached.
“Kung hindi tayo magkasundo (ng Senate), mag-reenact na lang tayo ng budget noong nakaraan, tabla-tabla na lang,” he said in a radio interview.
Alvarez expressed his displeasure over the “tantrums” of some senators who were insisting on their own version over some items.
He did not mention anyone, but Alvarez may have been alluding to Sen. Ping Lacson’s push to cut P68.7 billion from the Department of Public Works and Highways’ appropriations as well as the Senate’s move to cut P1.4 billion from the budget of the Philippine National Police.
Alvarez said the House would act tough. “Kami sa House, mag-hard stance kami dito. Kung ano ang napag-usapan namin, iyon ay gusto naming mangyari,” he said.
He said a reenacted budget would benefit the administration anyway, allowing the executive to program certain components of the budget as it wished.