MANILA, Philippines – House committee on appropriations chairperson Karlo Nograles can breathe for now after Majority Leader Rolando Andaya assured him he gets to keep his post.
At 2:42 pm on Monday, September 17, Andaya sent a statement to reporters saying that the plenary deliberations on the proposed P3.757-trillion budget for 2019 will push through, with Nograles sponsoring it on the floor as appropriations panel chairperson.
"There is no reorganization. The plenary debates will begin at the scheduled time. Business as usual," said Andaya, Camarines Sur 1st District representative.
Andaya gave the assurance as reports surfaced that Nograles, Davao City 1st District representative, is set to be replaced as head of the powerful House committee.
Andaya added the House leadership is eyeing to pass the 2019 budget on 3rd and final reading by October.
Nograles was set to sponsor the 2019 budget on 2nd reading at the plenary at 10 am. But as of posting, session remains suspended.
As of 3 pm, Nograles is also meeting with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia over the 2019 budget.
In a statement, Nograles slammed House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez for saying he would already be replaced as appropriations panel chairperson. Suarez backtracked on his statement early Monday afternoon.
Still, Nograles said those who want him removed from his post cannot make President Rodrigo Duterte break his promise to Filipinos over the 2019 budget.
"Be that as it may, if anybody wants to remove me as chair of the committee on appropriations, then they can have the position, but they cannot be allowed to make the President break his promise to our people, and they cannot be allowed to deprive millions of Filipinos in so many provinces nationwide of the programs and projects that our kababayans (countrymen) and my fellow probinsiyanos (Filipinos hailing from the provinces) need, by tinkering with the budget. This budget is for the needs of our people," said Nograles. – Rappler.com