MANILA, Philippines – With “strong reservations,” Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III signed on Tuesday the 2019 national budget.
Sotto himself announced this in a press conference at the Senate with Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguez Zubiri, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Panfilo Lacson.
“I already signed the enrolled copy. It’s now going to be an enrolled bill presented to the President but I placed my reservations on the signature,” the Senate leader said.
In his signature, Sotto said he attached an annotation where he expressed his strong reservations.
“I affix my signature wtih strong reservations,” he said, reading a copy of the attachment.
“My attestation is limited only to those items approved by the bicameral conference committee and ratified both Houses of Congress.”
But Sotto maintained that the P75 billion worth of programs or projects under the Local Infrastructure Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways funded through “internal realignments” were unconstitutional.
He also attached the list of the P95 billion worth of programs which included the said P75 billion worth of realignments.
Sotto said the budget bill will now be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature. /gsg
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