Credit to Author: The Manila Times| Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2019 11:11:27 +0000
THE Senate on Monday virtually rejected the House of Representatives’ call for a bicameral committee meeting to iron out “remaining” issues on a bill seeking to abolish the graft-ridden Road Board.
Emerging from a two-hour caucus, Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd told reporters that the general sentiment of his colleagues in the 24-member Senate was there was no need for a bicam because the Senate has adopted the House version of the bill seeking to scrap the Road Board.
“We tasked Senator [Juan Miguel] Zubiri, the Majority Leader, to talk to House Majority Leader Rolando Anday, to find out their reasons why there is a possibility that we can go into a bicam, but nothing official,” he said.
“At the moment we still stand on the issue that it has been adopted, so whatever the outcome of the talks between the two majority leaders, we will take it up again and most probably that will be tomorrow (Jan 15) because by Wednesday we will be terminating the period of budget interpellations, and by Monday, the 21st, period of amendments is hopefully done, and by Thursday to Sunday, we can go into the finishing touches. On Monday, next week, we would approve the proposed 2019 budget on second and third reading then the following day they go into bicam,” Sotto said.
Because of these, the Senate chief said that he was not certain about the possibility of putting the funds of the Road Board under the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways as suggested previously by Zubiri and Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives resumed regular sessions after a month-long Christmas break. JAVIER JOE ISMAEL