Senator Loren Legarda said Senate will now submit the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte after Senate President Tito Sotto III signed the bill “with strong reservations.”
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said the Senate President signed the 2019 GAB with an annotation saying that his “attestation is limited only to those items approved by the bicameral conference committee and ratified by both Houses of Congress.”
“With the Senate President’s signing of the enrolled copy of the bill, we look forward to having an enacted 2019 budget soon.”
“The Senate has maintained that it wants to pass the 2019 national budget and we did our part. While pressed for time, we did our best to pass a budget that is geared towards improved programs and services for the people, gradually eliminating underspending,” said Legarda.
In December last year, Legarda sponsored the Senate’s version of the GAB followed by marathon sessions that lasted until late in the evening and extending until Fridays.
The Senate approved on third reading the proposed P3.757 trillion 2019 budget on January 21, followed by the convening of bicameral conference committee meetings. On February 8, the Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report.
“We had hoped for an earlier signing of the 2019 national budget. There were challenges along the way but we found a solution to move forward. With the Senate President’s signing of the enrolled copy of the bill, we look forward to having an enacted 2019 budget soon,” said Legarda.
“We want to ensure that every peso from the people’s taxes go back to them through actual delivery of services and programs.”
“The Senate has performed its duty to pass a budget that is geared towards our collective desire to provide our people with programs and services that would usher in personal growth, community development and national progress. We want to ensure that every peso from the people’s taxes go back to them through actual delivery of services and programs,” Legarda concluded.