MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte blamed the bickering among members of Congress over the delay in the passage of the 2019 national budget, which he signed on Monday, three months after the government operated on a reenacted budget.
“Kakaaway nila, kahapon [actually, Monday. —Ed.] ko lang napirmahan ang budget,” Duterte said in his speech on Wednesday at Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally in Batangas City.
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives had locked horns over the alleged questionable allocations and alleged insertions in the proposed P3.757 national budget.
In signing the budget, the President vetoed P95.3 billion in appropriation items under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which he said were “not within the programmed priorities” of his administration
In a strongly-worded veto message, the President said he would “not tolerate attempts to circumvent the Constitution” following allegations that the national budget was loaded with pork.
“In the faithful exercise of my office and due fidelity to my oath, I will not tolerate attempts to circumvent the Constitution or any other action that will prejudice the Filipino people whom I serve,” the President said.
The signed budget is P3.662 trillion.
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