WHILE Malacañang was "concerned" over the ongoing row on the proposed 2019 budget between the Senate and the House of Representatives, the executive said Tuesday, March 19, it would not make any move to end the current deadlock in the proposed budget spending.
"No move from Malacañang," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, when asked about the Palace's possible actions, if Congress fails to settle the differences in their respective versions of the proposed P3.757-trillion budget for 2019.
"We are concerned but what can you do if they don't want...? We have been telling them to settle their differences, urging them to pass the bill," he added.
This came after House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said earlier Tuesday, March 19, that the House of Representatives has not withdrawn its version of the proposed 2019 budget.
Arroyo's statement was in contrary to the claim of San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora that the House of Representatives agreed to withdraw its budget version, following allegations that it was riddled with insertions that favored some of the House Speaker's allies.
The squabble between the Senate and the House of Representatives started after the latter allegedly manipulated the ratified 2019 budget by making some insertions and realignment.
On March 11, Duterte said he would not pass the proposed multi-trillion peso worth of budget spending for this year, if the line items in the general appropriations bill are deemed "illegal."
Panelo said the Palace would merely await the Congress's final decision on the proposed 2019 budget.
"The same statement remains until such time they submitted the enrolled bill. We will just wait for them to settle their differences," the Palace official said.
"Tignan natin. Palagay ko maaayos ‘yan (Let's see. I think it will be settled)," he added. (SunStar Philippines)