Philippines

President Duterte to sign 2019 budget if it’s ‘consistent with Constitution’

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PRRD to sign 2019 budget if it’s ‘consistent with Constitution’
By EJ Roque

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Malacañang on Tuesday said it is up to President Rodrigo R. Duterte whether he will veto specific realignments in the proposed 2019 national budget.

“That’s his judgment call if he’d like to review the enrolled bill and if it is consistent with the Constitution, he will sign it,” Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in an interview with Palace reporters.

On Tuesday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III announced that he has signed the proposed PHP3.7-trillion national budget “with strong reservations”.

Sotto also appealed to Duterte to veto “unconstitutional” provisions amid allegations that some PHP75 billion had been realigned by the House of Representatives to various lawmakers.

Panelo said Duterte has the right to veto certain realignments and won’t sign anything ‘unconstitutional’.

“The President says he will not sign anything unconstitutional as far as he’s concerned. Abogado si Presidente eh (The President is a lawyer),” he said.

He commended the members of Congress for submitting the 2019 budget after a series of delays, assuring the President will act on it immediately.

“They performed their respective jobs and they have finally settled their differences, that’s why we are happy to know that they have finally submitted the enrolled bill,” he said. (PNA)

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