SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson should convince his colleagues in the Senate to agree on his proposal to open for live media coverage the bicameral meetings for the proposed 2020 P4.1 trillion general appropriations bill (GAB).
In an ambush interview, Cayetano said the House of Representatives would act on Lacson’s suggestion after the Senate takes a position on it.
While he is not against the proposal to promote transparency, Cayetano said he sees delays in the passage of the national budget, saying lawmakers may take advantage of the live media coverage to prolong the debates.
“When you open it to the media, it’ll be February, March, April and we still don’t have an approved budget. What good is the budget then?” Cayetano asked, adding that live media coverage may turn the bicameral meetings into a “circus.”
“We have to be very realistic on how we can get the job done. When you open it for live coverage, what will happen is many (lawmakers) will play to the media, play to the gallery, instead of really discussing the budget,” said Cayetano.
The Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to convene the bicameral conference committee to reconcile the disagreeing provisions in their versions of the national budget.
On Wednesday, Cayetano urged senators to finish their budget deliberations this month so bicameral meetings can be scheduled by the first week of December.