House scans budget for ‘inserts’

The House of Representatives will review the Senate version of the proposed 2019 national budget to determine if the senators made insertions to the money measure, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said Wednesday.

Andaya, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, said the House, led by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, would want to ensure transparency in the money measure and so must conduct a thorough review of it.

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“There are differences in the Senate and the House versions. We are preparing the matrix,” Andaya said.  

“Before we can proceed we must start with the baseline. This has been the standard procedure in any budget bicam. They review our version, we review theirs.”

COOP-NATCCO party-list Rep. Anthony Bravo, a member of the House contingent in the bicam, said reporters could freely cover the next bicameral conference committee deliberations on Jan. 28, following the failure of senators and congressmen to agree on several provisions in the budget measure during their first meeting on Jan. 22.

Bravo said the House’s Senate counterparts, including Senator Loren Legarda, head of the finance committee, were open to the idea.

“There was no violent reaction whatsoever,” Bravo said, referring to Legarda and her colleagues. 

Bravo also hinted that the bicam meeting might be open for live media coverage.

“The proceeding will be on live streaming by Monday,” he said. 

“I think so because there was no disagreement. I’m in a guessing statement because there was no exact statement. I don’t know if there will be changes.” 

Senators and congressmen held their bicam deliberations at the Manila Polo Club last Monday. The Jan. 28 meeting will be held again at the same venue.

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Topics: House of Representatives , 2019 national budget , Rolando Andaya Jr. , Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
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