Sotto says Senate open to 'cure' for budget impasse

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2019 03:31 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2019 03:53 PM

MANILA – Senators are open to potential a "cure" to the ongoing impasse over the 2019 budget, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday, as representatives the two houses of congress set a meeting next week.

Senators Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson and Gringo Honasan will represent the Senate during Monday’s meeting, Sotto told reporters. 

"The door is now open for a possible cure to the impasse. Siguro bukas na 'yung pinto kasi baka pwede nang masunod 'yung aming mga suggestions specifically sa original suggestion namin ni Sen. Lacson," Sotto said.

(Maybe the door is open, maybe our suggestions can be adopted, specifically the suggestion of Sen. Lacson.)

The House version of the bill was retrieved from the Senate on Wednesday but congressmen said this did not mean that its draft was withdrawn.

Sotto said Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was "quiet" when they met with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss the budget. 

”The Speaker alone palagay ko wala kaming problema.. kaso maraming nakapaligid eh (I have no problem with the Speaker). Everything was very cordial until this 2019 budget,” he said. 

Sotto said the Senate was open to the possibility of a reenacted budget until June.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said a reenacted budget could slow gross domestic product growth this year.