Arroyo trusts Duterte's judgment on 2019 budget

SAN CARLOS CITY -- House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Tuesday, April 16, said she trusts President Rodrigo Duterte’s judgments in as far as the 2019 budget is concerned.

She said that when she was president, she also used to partially veto the budget every year.

She then refused to give more statement relative to the budget.

Arroyo was in San Carlos City Tuesday to revisit the San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc. which was her first Bio-ethanol Project in 2005 during her presidency. It is the first fuel bioethanol and co-generation facility in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Duterte on Monday finally signed the four-month delayed P3.757-trillion 2019 national budget into law, but vetoed about P95.3 billion in appropriations.

The vetoed P95.3 billion are reportedly items of appropriations in the details of DPWH programs/projects, which are not within the “programmed priorities.”

The President last week threatened to veto the entire 2019 budget, should Malacañang’s review unearth irregular fund realignments.

The budget, ratified on February 8 by both chambers of Congress, was transmitted to the Office of the President just on March 26 by the Senate with a letter on the Senate President’s reservations over some P95 billion in funds the House of Representatives allegedly realigned after the spending plan was ratified.

Of this amount, P75 billion was realigned to fund programs and projects under the Local Infrastructure Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Meanwhile, Arroyo in her meeting with the officials of SCBI in the presence of Governor Alfredo Maranon and First a District Rep. Melecio Yap scheduled an Oversight Hearing on April 25 to address the problems raised by the industry relative to the Ethanol Energy Challenges.

She said that industry leaders, Officials of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, Department of Energy and Philippine Economic Zone Authority are invited in the oversight hearing to be presided by Yap as member of the Visayas Development Oversight Committee.

“I’m very glad that they still own and have even expanded the Bioenergy plant despite the challenges. They did the brave thing,” Arroyo said. (TDE)


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