MANILA - Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday warned the public not to be misled after House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano blamed the Senate if the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget fails to be passed before the end of the year.
The House was supposed to transmit an approved version of the spending bill to the Senate next week, but Cayetano abruptly suspended session amid a row over the Speakership.
“Do not be misled. The House of Representatives has delayed the budget for a whole month,” Sotto said in a tweet.
“No one can ever blame the Senate for this delay. NEVER!” he said.
Cayetano, in a Facebook live video, earlier claimed that the month-long suspension of the House’s session would only delay budget proceedings by one day, even if his chamber has yet to pass the spending bill on final reading.
Several senators have rejected Cayetano's claim, saying the printing and the transmission of the House’s version of the budget to the Senate alone would take at least 3 days.
Sotto said he would deliver a privilege speech to address the budget issue next week.
“The nerve! Passing the blame, it’s unacceptable!” the Senate President said.