The 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) submitted at the Lower House for 1st reading was said to have been unceremoniously withdrawn by Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte.
Reports reaching Davao Breaking News showed that Rep. Villafuerte, Deputy Speaker for Finance, moved for the withdrawal of the said bill allegedly upon the order of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
House Appropriations Committee chair and Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab said that his committee filed GAB 2020 as House Bill No. 4228 Wednesday evening, August 28.
Rep. Villafuerte meanwhile withdrew the GAB on the same evening allegedly upon the behest of Speaker Cayetano.
Efforts to confirm this from Cayetano proved futile as of this writing. The Speaker is in China with the Philippine delegates for a working visit with President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I requested the Appropriations Committee Secretariat to file the General Appropriations Bill FY2020 for first reading last Wednesday with House Bill No. 4228, but I was informed that the bill was withdrawn by Deputy Speaker Lray Villafuerte. I do not have personal knowledge on the act of withdrawal on the floor and and upon whose orders this was made,” Rep. Ungab said Sunday morning.
A House member who requested anonymity said that the withdrawal could be but another ploy of some congressmen to insert or realign funding for their districts.
The solon said they will block this effort as this could be another reason for President Duterte to veto some parts of the GAA like what he did in the 2019 national budget that delayed for several months due to alleged insertions by some lawmakers.
The solon who is not a member of the so-called Cayetano bloc in the Lower House said that they do not want a repeat of the 2019 incident.
It can be remembered that the passage of the 2019 GAA was delayed due to some insertions made by some lawmakers.
President Duterte eventually vetoed some P93.5 billion of questionable infra funding allotment on the 2019 GAA.