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Villafuerte wants to submit new budget bill, Ungab says

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House Deputy Speaker for Finance Luis Raymund Villafuerte apparently wants a new General Appropriations Bill (GAB) following the withdrawal of the filed legislation for the proposed P4.1-trillion National Budget for 2020, Appropriations panel chair Rep. Isidro Ungab said.

A screenshot sent to Politiko disclosed a supposed conversation between House Committee on Ways and Ungab, in which the Davao City solon disclosed that Villafuerte wanted a new version of the proposed 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA), despite the fact that the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) are almost finished printing the original version of GAB under House Bill No. 4228.

“Good pm boss. Printing of GAB will be finished by tomorrow and LRay wants a new GAB which he has not yet even prepared,” Ungab told Salceda.

The Davao City congressman shared his concern with Salceda, saying that the decision of Villafuerte to withdraw the original GAB filed last week “will surely derail the budget” timetable.

Ungab and Salceda agreed that the decision of Villafuerte to recall the filing of HB4228 after it was referred to House Committee on Rules last Wednesday will attract critics of the Pork Barrel Fund especially Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

“Naku it will not only derail, it will the target of Ping Lacson,” said Salceda.

“I was afraid of the ‘insertion’ issue and yes, it’s real fireworks pagdating kay Lacson,” Ungab replied.

Ungab doesn’t think that Villafuerte’s action will help them defend the GAB once it is refiled anytime from now.

“I don’t think they will help us defend ourselves if we are already under attack,” Ungab told Salceda.

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