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Diokno denies alleged 'insertions' in 2019 budget

MANILA – Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Monday denied allegations that there were insertions in the P3.757 trillion 2019 national budget.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier said at least 2 lawmakers cornered bulk of congressional insertions under the General Appropriations bill for 2019. 

Diokno said the House Representatives can revise or realign budget allocations.

"There are no insertions, I can say that," Diokno said. Allocations can be considered "pork" if lawmakers meddle in project implementation, he said.

Diokno also allayed fears on the size of the country's debt as raised by Lacson. He said the country’s debt to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio of about 40 percent is "better than the usual requirement of 60 percent."

"We are in a very good shape to borrow money,” Diokno said.

Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said the Senate was looking at 14-hour session days to deliberate on the proposed 2019 budget in to approve it before the year ends.

— with a report by Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

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