President Rodrigo Duterte will veto any unconstitutional items in the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, Malacañang said Thursday.
“The provisions in the budget that run counter to the Constitution will be vetoed by the President. There is no change in that policy,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told Palace reporters.
This came after Senator Panfilo Lacson alleged that at least 1,253 budget items worth P83.219 billion were inserted in the bicameral conference committee report signed by the Senate and the House of Representatives Wednesday.
The 2020 budget bill is now up for Duterte’s signature.
Lacson said he received information that many of the insertions were the items vetoed by the President in the 2019 budget.
The senator also said he will inform President Duterte of the “questionable insertions” in the budget proposal for 2020.
In April, President Duterte signed the P3.7-trillion 2019 budget with vetoed provisions following alleged insertions in the spending plan.
The President said then that the items, which came as a result of post-ratification budget realignments made by lawmakers, were not within the “programmed priorities” of the government.
The government was forced to run on a reenacted budget this year for four months following wrangling among lawmakers over alleged pork insertions in the national spending plan.
Duterte has previously certified the 2020 national budget as urgent to ensure its swift passage to avoid delays in government programs and services.