Duterte signs 2019 budget, vetoes P95.3-B

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DAVAO CITY (April 15) — After four months of delay, Finally, President Rodrigo Duterte today has signed into law the P3.7-trillion minus the P95.3 billion.

Reports have it, the vetoed budget were projects inserted by the lawmakers.

Executice Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed that the President signed the budget, but not as everyone desired, Duterte vetoed some appropriations saying those are not part of his priority projects.

Medialdea explined “The President, among others, vetoed 95.3 billion pesos items of appropriations in the Details of DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) Programs/Projects, which are not within the programmed priorities.”

Senate President Vicente Sotto, however, said the vetoed items include the P75 billion “insertions” applied by congressmen covering public works projects.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who accused House leaders of “manipulating” the budget, said that while he has yet to see the items vetoed by Duterte, the removal of insertions was commendable. 

“Either way, it is [a] victory for the Filipino taxpayers. Having said that, I would like to personally commend the president and his economic managers for coming up with a “pork-free” national budget,” Lacson added. 

House Majority Leader Rep. Fredenil Castro said the Congress respects the decision of the President.

In a statement, Castro said “We respect his decision to veto some items in the budget. We will abide with the President’s decision and respect the thorough study made by his team after all factors were considered.”

Prior to the signing of the budget, the government had operated on a reenacted 2018 budget since January.-Editha Z. Caduaya/NewsLine.ph

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