CITING lack of time because of delays on the part of the House of Representatives, the Senate has asked Malacanang not to call a special session for the approval of the proposed P3.7-trillion 2019 national budget as announced earlier by Budget Secretary Ben Diokno.
Seizing the opportunity presented by the presence of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea who was at the Senate for the deliberation on the P6.773-billion budget of the Office of the President, the senators aired their plea.
Senator Panfilo Lacson was the first to speak up.
“I’d like to take advantage of the presence of Executive Secretary Bong Medialdea. I would like to issue an appeal to him not to endorse the anticipated recommendation of Secretary of DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Ben Diokno to call for a special session,” he said.
Lacson insisted that even if the President agrees to the recommendation of Diokno and the Senate holds a special session, it will be impossible to enact the budget bill before the year ends.
He said that they are still looking to discuss the budget of big agencies including the Department of Tourism, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Justice, particularly the Bureau of Immigration, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections, Ombudsman, Department of Health, Department of National Defense, and Department of the Interior and Local Government.