Andaya confident Duterte will clear up issues on the 2019 budget

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — The budget will finally be transmitted to the President despite some concerns from senators.

Still, House Committee on Appropriations Chairperson Rolando Andaya is confident that the budget, which was signed by the heads of Congress earlier today, will be passed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Andaya continued to back the House of Representatives' itemization of lump sum budget provisions, and said that it is up to Duterte to veto such provisions that caused the deadlock between the House and the Senate.

"How can the President veto something when it is not presented in the budget? When it is kept in a lump sum, how can you veto a particular project when it's just the full amount," Andaya said in an interview on CNN Philippines' Newsroom.

Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, Franklin Drilon and Panfilo "Ping" Lacson had previously denounced the P75 billion worth of programs and projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways budget that were itemized by the House of Representatives after the bicameral conference committee report was ratified.

While the budget bill was signed by Sotto after meeting with House heads, the Senate president had also a written an annotation for Duterte on his views on the House's actions.

READ: Impasse on proposed 2019 budget ends; Congress sends spending bill to Palace

Like the Senate, Andaya said that it is up to Duterte to decide whether or not he would veto the contested budget item.

"But of course there has to be a set or general standards for it. It can not be capricious or merely a sentiment," Andaya said.

The delayed budget has already made a dent in the Philippine economy, leading the economic managers of the Duterte administration to revise its gross domestic product target to 6 to 7 percent from 7 to 8 percent.