Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to use his veto power to remove all pork barrel insertions in the 2019 appropriations measure.
In a Twitter post, Lacson told Duterte: "Mr President, you have displayed your strong political will on several occasions. This time, use your line-item veto power over the 2019 appropriations measure by removing all the 'pork' inserted by lawmakers who are incorrigibly insatiable and simply 'beyond redemption.'"
Deliberations on the 2019 budget have been stalled due to allegations of pork insertions. Both Houses aim to ratify the P3.8-trillion spending bill before the 17th Congress adjourns on Feb. 6.
The government is currently operating on a reenacted budget and finance officials have warned it could affect the country's economy.
Lacson earlier warned the spending bill approved by the House of Representatives has P160 million worth of projects earmarked to lawmakers.
Approving the appropriations measure in its present form, he said, would saddle Filipinos with even more debt this year.
"Ngayong 2019, asahan ang paglobo ng ‘yong utang na aabot sa ₱71,000," he wrote on Instagram. "Tandaan, hawak ng mga kongresista ang buwis nating pinaghirapan. Ibubulsa lamang nila."