A ZERO budget will be almost impossible to implement, but House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has threatened to give “zero budget” to the politicians who will not support President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to shift to a federal form of government, Malacañang said Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque told dzMM radio that while the Palace respects Alvarez’ views, it was doubtful that local government units that would defy Alvarez will get no funds.
“We have laws, laws that say that the internal revenue allotments are automatically disbursed,” Roque said.
“This will be very difficult for us because a zero budget must be approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
Meanwhile, Malacañang said Duterte had nothing to do with the threats recently made by Alvarez to give “zero budget” to local politicians who would not support the President’s plan for a federal form of government.
“The President’s stand is that he will not interfere with the affairs of Congress,” Roque told reporters in an interview in Kalibo, Aklan.
“Proposing amendments to the Constitution is a responsibility of Congress convening as a constituent assembly. We believe Congress is independent, and we do not interfere.”
Last week, Alvarez threatened local politicians who will not back federalism that they would receive a “zero budget.”
His statement came just days after the House hastily adopted a resolution to convene as a constituent assembly to draft a new charter and pave the way for federalism.
But senators and former chief justices criticized the move as a form of “railroading” as the resolution was adopted without going through debates at the plenary.