'We cannot presume regularity': Lacson blasts P20-B in House amendments to approved budget

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2020 10:28 AM

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MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Thursday it would be "misplaced" to presume regularity in the 2021 budget to be transmitted by the House of Representatives if it includes changes made after it was passed on final reading.

A small committee from the House introduced some P20-billion institutional amendments to the budget after lawmakers passed it on final reading, but Lacson said this is "unconstitutional."

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said he would presume regularity in the budget that will be transmitted to the chamber.

"To say that there is a presumption of regularity I think is misplaced because if that is the output of the small committee and they will include these amendments in the USB drive that they will transmit to us on October 28, then we cannot presume regularity, with all due respect to my Senate President," Lacson told ANC's Headstart.

"Because if it is based on an unconstitutional act, then we cannot presume regularity," he said.

The Senate is expected to receive the printed copies of the 2021 budget next week after House lawmakers approved it on final reading last Friday.

Both houses of Congress are seeking the timely passage of the spending bill as the P4.5-trillion budget includes funds for the coronavirus pandemic response. Otherwise, government would be forced to operate on a reenacted 2020 budget, which has no provisions to address the crisis.