Statement of Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya Jr. on the Plenary Deliberations

The approved amendments in the budget will be itemized. There will be no post-enactment identification which is prohibited. Spelled out dapat.

However, there are augmentations that will be hard to itemize, like the budget for retained health workers, as it will be impossible to create what is basically a payroll. In the case of the Calamity Fund augmentation for Ompong rehabilitation, there is no comprehensive damage assessment yet which can guide as to what projects will be undertaken.

As I said every line in the GAB will comply with laws and judicial decisions on public expenditures.

Ang importante is that we are opening the budget deliberations to improvements. Di ba sa Senate, ginagawa nila yan, every end of a hearing for an agency, some senators would call for an increase of the budget of a certain program, or question the cuts proposed in the budget.

The Senate is not calling for the rubber-stamp approval of the budget. And when they propose changes, they view it as vigilance, while when the same thing is done by the House, it is met by suspicion. Mali naman yata yon.

The demands are many, the resources few. Kaya nga, tulad ng isang bahay, we have to budget. Ito madalas kong sabihin na ang paggawa ng budget is the modern day equivalent of the miracle of feeding a multitude out of a single loaf of bread.

There might not be enough budget space to accommodate appeals for inclusion in this very tight 2019 budget like, for example, any deficiency in the Bangsamoro Organic Law, and many more. One suggestion worth exploring is to put all of these in the Unprogrammed Fund.

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