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No special session for 2019 budget – Palace

Updated

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte will not be calling for a special session of Congress to pass the proposed P3.575-trillion budget for 2019.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the confirmation after Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno revealed that the Senate has said that it would be impossible after their session ended Thursday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo
(OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I would like to confirm the announcement that the President will not be calling (for) a special session on the request of the Senate,” Panelo said in his Friday press briefing.

“Senate members told the President, through I think Secretary Diokno, that it’s physically impossible for them to hold a session because it ended yesterday. I suppose there are so many activities that will involve the attention, the presence of all members of Congress,” he added.

Panelo said the Palace was disappointed that Congress was not able to pass the budget on time, forcing the government to deal with a reenacted budget, stressing that this was not the fault of the Palace.

“They have their own reasons why there was a delay in the approval of the budget. What is important to us is that we did our duty and the failure is not on our part but on them,” he said.

“Certainly [we are disappointed] because we thought since we submitted the budget on the first day when we were supposed to have 30 days within which to submit. We are of course disappointed that it did not pass as expected,” he added.

The Palace official, meanwhile, expressed optimism that such delay will not happen in the future.

“Well, I hope so because a lot of other services will be affected,” Panelo said.

The Senate has deferred budget deliberations as Congress held its last session on Thursday before going on a Christmas break. Congress is set to resume its sessions on January 14.

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