Lacson: “Unlawful” to amend the P4.5-T budget for more insertions

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Senator Panfilo Lacson holds the matrix “Agaw Bato” Group at the eighth senate hearing on the GCTA Law mess. October 3, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson reminded the lower chamber that they cannot amend the national budget after it is passed on third and final reading.

This warning came after reports surfaced claiming that the House of Representatives are planning to insert amendments during the printing of the General Appropriations bill.

The House had approved the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget on final reading on Friday, October 16, but senators received information that the printed copy of the spending bill would only be sent to the Senate on November 5 as lawmakers plans to insert more amendments post-plenary deliberations.

“House leaders should be reminded of the constitutional provision that prohibits further amendments on any legislative bill after approval on third and final reading,” Lacson said in a statement.

“Are they planning to violate the Constitution, so that, while fulfilling their promise to the President to finally approve the measure on the last day of special session or today, they can still make insertions in the finally approved version of the budget measure?” he added.

While the “budget calendar will be very tight for the Senate,” Lacson said the Senate will not “simply adopt the House version.”

“[It] will not happen,” he assured.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.