House to resume 2019 budget deliberations after 2-day impasse

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2018 11:29 AM

MANILA - Budget deliberations in the House of Representatives are set to resume after lawmakers resolved a 2-day impasse, Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles said Wednesday, as he dismissed talk that he was almost ousted as House Appropriations Committee chair.

Budget proceedings were halted in the chamber after congressmen squabbled over the realignment of some P55 billion allegedly inserted in the budget in favor of former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez's allies.

The House is expected to finalize its budget deliberations before the chamber goes on break on Oct. 12, Nograles said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.

The House voted to drop a report prepared by Nograles' committee and replace it with a new document that reallocated some P51.7 billion in funds to disaster risk reduction, health programs and infrastructure projects.

"Everyone is on board. Everyone now agrees with the committee report that has been approved," Nograles said.

The Davao representative dismissed as "gossip" talk that he was almost replaced as head of the House Appropriations Committee chair after a squabble with Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.

Several congressmen earlier said Andaya and Nograles had a shouting match during a closed-door session over the realignment issue.

"All of that is irrelevant. All of that is hearsay. All of that is chismis (gossip)," Nograles said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.

"At the end of the day, there are no changes. I am shill chair of the Committee on Appropriations," he said.

Nograles said "there was no bullying" from Andaya.

"The reason that it was an executive meeting was so that it could be a free-for-all discussion, no holds barred, kumbaga, 'Everybody say your piece, talk, let what you think and feel out,'" he said.

The House is ready to move on with budget deliberations after the impasse was settled, Nograles said.

"At the end of the day, we're all professionals, were all grown ups, were all just workers of government," Nograles said.