Senate not to blame for SEAG budget delay — Sotto

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MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday said it is not the Philippine Senate rather, it is the House of Representatives that should be blamed for the late passage of the 2019 national budget which caused undue delay on the country’s preparations for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chair and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and 1PACMAN Party List rep. Mikee Romero earlier picked on Sen. Franklin Drilon for the budget delay as the senator accordingly proposed trimming the SEA Games by about a third.

But Sotto said the House submitted the proposed national budget to the Senate about two months later than the target date.

“Una, nagpalit sila ng leadership. Baka nakakalimutan nila na nagpalit din sila ng mga chairmanship. Baka nakakalimutan nila na imbes na i-submit sa amin by October 1 yung budget, sinubmit nila nung November 24. Ano ang magagawa namin in less than a month?” the Senate President explained.

Sotto also said that after the Senate passed the proposed national budget, the House still made realignments.

“May ginalaw sila. Baka nakakalimutan nila, hindi lang P75 billion ang nakita namin, P95 billion ang nakita ng Presidente na i-veto. So paanong hindi sila ang may kasalanan ng delay?” Sotto said adding that neither the Senate nor Drilon can be blamed for the delay in the 2019 budget.

“Medyo nasaktan lang sila doon sa pintas siguro ni Sen. Drilon tungkol siguro du’n sa cauldron,” Sotto said. (Marian Sinamban/IAMIGO/CNS)

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