P79 billion realigned in 2019 national budget, Sotto says

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2019 12:32 AM | Updated as of Mar 10 2019 12:55 AM

MANILA - Some P79 billion in the ratified 2019 budget was realigned by the House of Representatives, Senate President Tito Sotto said Saturday.

Sotto revealed the information, citing a report from the Senate’s Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office (LBRMO).

"Ang tingin ng LBRMO eh may nagalaw na P79 billion na hindi kasama sa pinag-usapan sa bicam. Nung niratify namin, hindi yun yung laman nun," Sotto told radio DWIZ.

"Maaaring ang total nung nandudun sa GAA ngayon or sa proposed GAA ngayon ay tama yung total pero sa loob merong naglikod... Bawal na bawal yun sa Konstitusyon."

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday denied that she re-aligned P25 million in the 2019 budget to favor certain lawmakers even after it was ratified by both chambers of Congress.

Sotto said he has discussed the matter with Palace officials, who will in turn talk to the lower chamber.

"As we speak, ang ipinaalam namin sa executive department ay kausapin yung leadership ng House at sabihin sa kanila na i-maintain doon sa kung ano ang pinasa namin," he said.

Sotto said he has also brought up the matter with President Rodrigo Duterte during the official visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

"Basta ako nakakasiguro ako na si Presidente naiintindihan ang posisyon ko," he said.