Senate to vote on 2019 budget on Friday

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2019 11:46 PM

MANILA - The Senate is set to vote Friday afternoon on the bicameral conference committee report on the 2019 national budget.

Senators Koko Pimentel, Nancy Binay, and Cynthia Villar disclosed this to reporters after an almost 2-hour caucus on Wednesday night.

Villar said she is confident the budget will be passed, while Pimentel and Binay are still mum on what the outcome will be. 

Binay said the bicameral conference committee was able to reconcile each chamber's issues with the "insertions."

Pimentel, however, said voting can go either way for a reenacted or a new budget.

Government has been running on a reenacted 2018 budget since the start of the year after lawmakers failed to pass the spending law before the December 31, 2018 deadline.

The House of Representatives held budget hearings and debates for 4 months before finally transmitting it to the Senate late in November 2018, giving senators insufficient time to tackle the bill before the year-end deadline.

The budget's approval was also dragged by House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya's allegations that Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno had inserted at least P75 billion into the proposed 2019 funding for the Department of Public Works and Highways in favor of his in-laws who were working as government contractors in Bicol.

--Report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News