Still incumbent House Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano issued a challenge to Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco to pass a budget that the House will be proud of in case the latter becomes its leader.
“Let him show that he can pass the budget on time, but more than that let him show that it will be a great budget, a budget that all of us will be proud of,” Cayetano said in his speech on Wednesday at the House where he offered to resign.
“I’m offering my resignation, here and now, to you my dear colleagues. My fate and the fate of the 2021 budget, and the fate of the leadership of the House is in your hands,” Cayetano added.
However, the House, in a formal vote, rejected Cayetano’s resignation.
Cayetano said Velasco told President Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting at Malacanang in Tuesday to settle the impasse on the Speakership issue: “Mr. President, kung kaya ni Cayetano ang budget, kaya ko rin ‘yan (If Cayetano can pass the budget, I can too).”
Cayetano also said Velasco rejected the president’s proposal for Velasco to assume speakership of the House in December to allow the House to finalize the budget.
Based on a previous term-sharing agreement, Velasco was supposed to take over the leadership of the House on October 14.
Economists in both the government and the private sector see the 2021 General Appropriations Act as critical for the Philippine economy to recover after getting battered by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
The country’s gross domestic product plunged by 16.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, meaning the country’s economy has entered a recession.
The Department of Budget and Management has proposed a P4.56-trillion budget for 2021. The approved budget for this year is P4.1 billion. SOVEREIGN.PH