Cayetano assures no delay in passing 2020 proposed National Budget

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2019   •   303

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assured that there will be no delays in the passage of the proposed National Budget for 2020 in the House of Representative (HOR).

However, there will be slight changes in the budget of several agencies such as the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy and Health.

The Lower House also vowed to scrutinize the funds for infrastructure projects to prevent ‘cuts’ or corruption in the government’s projects.

“There will be no post budget enactment intervention by any member of Congress dyan,” Cayetano said.

“So iyong ‘no pork, no parking, no delay,’ iyan na rin ang mantra namin, ( ‘No pork, no parking, no delay, that is our mantra now to),” Cayeteno said. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)

Cayetano, other solons to work from home after exposure to virus-infected Yap

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and other lawmakers and staff who physically attended the House of Representatives’ special session last Monday will go on self-quarantine after ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Yap Go confirmed he contracted novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Yap earlier revealed that he attended the special session on March 23 at the Batasan Pambansa while his coronavirus test results were still pending. He, however, stressed that he took safety precautions as he became paranoid about his mild cough.

At least 20 lawmakers were physically present at the special session, including House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante, Representatives France Castro, Edgar Sarmiento, Mikey Arroyo, Sharky Palma, Precious Castelo, and Janette Garin, Deputy Speakers Raneo Abu, LRay Villafuerte, Robbie Puno, and Dong Gonzales, Representatives Bong Suntay, Jon Jalosjos, Manny Lopez, Tonypet Albano, Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Mike Defensor, Blu Abaya, Bambol Tolentino, Cayetano, and Yap.

The said lawmakers confirmed they will work from home during their self-quarantine.

Cha-Cha sees no progress in Senate

Marje Pelayo   •   December 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several senators seem adamant on catering to the House of Representatives’ (HOR) proposed Charter change.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said such a proposal is not a priority at this time adding that the Senate is not considering accepting it after the HOR approved its version of the bill.

The Lower House proposes the following amendments to the Constitution:

1. Legislative flexibility for foreign Investments

2. Tandem voting for president and vice president

3. Election of senators by region (with proposal dividing PH to 9 regions)

4. 5-year term for local officials and Congressmen

House Committee on Constitutional Amendments Chairman Rufus Rodriguez is asking the senators to take time to study their proposal before deciding to drop it.

“I hope that the senators, instead of saying, it’s doomed, it’s not a priority, should look into every proposal: are they good for the country or not? That is the main issue there,” Rodriguez argued.

The lawmaker also denied allegations that the bill is “self-serving” on the part of the congressmen and that they have personal interests in pushing the proposed amendments.

“If this is approved it will only apply to those elected in 2022. All of us will go to the elections of 2022,” Rodriguez said.

“We are not extending our terms,” he added.

The Surigao Del Sur Representative stressed that the bill underwent public consultation from various sectors across the country.

The Lower House lawmakers are expected to debate on the measure at the plenary come February next year which may run for two months, according to Rodriguez. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)

Senate rejects House version of 2020 proposed national budget

Maris Federez   •   November 5, 2019

Senate President Vicente Sotto III

MANILA, Philippines – “It would be easier for a camel to pass through a needle than to have the House version of the proposed P4.1-billion 2020 national budget pass the Senate,” so to speak.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III made the statement after their Monday caucus. They all agreed that they cannot readily approve and adopt the House version due to several amendments that need to be done in the budget.

“We discussed the schedule. We cannot adopt it. Many amendments necessary,” said Senate President Sotto.

The senators arrived at that decision amid Senator Panfilo Lacson’s expose of the purported “parked” funds for several government agencies amounting to P20-billion, with no detailed item on where and how it is going to be used.

Some senators have also expressed their sentiments against an immediate passage of the House version of the budget.

Senator Lacson asked for transparency as the hearing on the proposed budget continues.

He asked to have the proposed amendments submitted by his fellow lawmakers be made public, especially when the proposed budget is referred to the bicameral conference committee. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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