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It’s done: House rests case on 2019 budget

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said Sunday she respects the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to veto P95.3 billion worth of budgets under the 2019 national budget.

“It’s done and we trust the President’s judgment,” she said.

The President earlier signed the national budget into law as Republic Act No. 11260 or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 on April 15, but vetoed several appropriations under the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Labor and Employment-National Labor Relations Commission, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Department of Trade and Industry.

“Even me, I used to line veto. Every year I partially vetoed the budget,” Arroyo, a former president, said.

Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., House committee on appropriations chairman also said he respected the President’s decision.

“The President knows what is best for the country and our people,” he said.

“In support of President Duterte’s legislative agenda, the House of Representatives has approved all of the President’s priority bills in record time,” he said.

“We eventually passed a national budget that will pass the test of constitutionality and legality, but also of transparency and accountability. All appropriations for government programs and projects are itemized, in full compliance with the laws of the land and recent Supreme Court decisions,” he added.

On the other hand, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte called on his fellow lawmakers to get their act together to further strengthen their support to the President’s anti-corruption campaign and inclusive development agenda following the Chief Executive’s line veto of the General Appropriations Act.

“In his veto message, the President made it clear that the national budget must be well spent and used to improve the people’s welfare. He also made it clear that he will not tolerate corruption in his administration and that our positions in government should not be used for personal gain,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said the passage of the national budget ensures the P30-billion seed funding to bankroll development projects and rehabilitation of war-torn areas in the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The amount was initially allocated for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which was replaced by BARMM.

“This is in fulfillment of the promise to give the Bangsamoro government full fiscal autonomy to achieve economic self-sufficiency and genuine development,” said Angara.

The senator is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government and co-sponsored Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law creating the BARMM.

“With this spending package, we pin our hopes on the leaders of the new autonomous political entity to change the lives of our Mindanaon brothers and sisters who equally deserve opportunities to be employed, educated and cared for by the government,” said the senator, who is running for reelection. With Macon Ramos-Araneta

READ: Budget veto looms over 'insertions'

READ: Rody signs new budget, vetoes P95-billion projects

Topics: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo , Rodrigo Duterte , 2019 national budget , General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019
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