Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd said President Rodrigo Duterte will exercise his veto powers on the 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) set for deliberation in the Senate, if the allocation for the anti-insurgency campaign is slashed.
Sotto said the anti-insurgency campaign, that also has a social component, is one the legacies of the Duterte administration.
“So, I assure you, if we touch that, that will be vetoed (by Duterte),” he said.
Based on the GAB, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has a P19-billion funding. Of that amount, P16.4 billion is alloted for development programs like livelihood and infrastructure for barangays cleared from the communist insurgency.
Members of the Senate minority earlier called for the realignment of anti-insurgency funds to increase the budget for next year’s calamity response. The House of Representatives is also seeking an additional P5 billion for next year’s calamity response program that has a proposed budget of P20 billion.
The P4.5-trillion proposed 2021 budget contained in the GAB was primarily crafted to help the Philippine economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. SOVEREIGNPH