House changes to 2021 budget not allowed after final reading: Palace


Posted at Oct 20 2020 02:30 PM

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The House of Representatives is not allowed to make changes to the 2021 national budget after passing it on third and final reading, Malacañang said Tuesday. 

Amendments or errata should be limited to typographical errors, said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, a former lawmaker. 

"Pero kung ito po ay additional items, then I would share the view of the senators kasi ‘pag third and final reading, wala na po dapat pagbabago d’yan," he told reporters. 

(But if these are additional items, then I would share the view of the senators because after the third and final reading, there should no longer be changes.)

Sen. Panfilo Lacson had on Monday chided ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap, the House appropriations panel chair, for his remarks over the weekend that a small committee introduced amendments to the approved spending bill, which were supposedly agency-initiated. 

Asked how this could be remedied, Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte last year vetoed line items that were not included in the original bill that the House approved on final reading. 

The proposed 2021 budget includes allocations curbing the coronavirus pandemic. It should be approved by Dec. 31. Otherwise, the government will be forced to rely on a reenacted 2020 budget that has no provisions for pandemic measures.