MANILA – House Appropriations committee chair Rolando Andaya Jr. on Wednesday assured the public that the proposed 2019 national budget submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte last Tuesday is constitutional.

Andaya said the enrolled budget bill will surpass constitutional test, adding that it is legal and transparent.

Last March 26, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III transmitted to the Office of the President the General Appropriations Bill after he signed the measure with “strong reservations.”

Sotto recommended the veto of P75-billion worth of progams/projects under the Local Infrastructure Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which he regarded as “unconstitutional.”

“The House of Representatives worked double-time for several months — in committee meetings, plenary session, bicameral conference meetings — to ensure that taxpayers from all legislative districts will get a fair share of the budget,” Andaya said.

In his statement, the Camarines Sur solon noted that they carefully examined the budget to remove programs and projects not vetted by appropriate government agencies and institutional mechanisms.

“We may have locked horns with senators on contentious issues, but both sides chose to work on our commonalities rather than waste precious time over disagreements. That is democracy at work. We are confident that the product of this democratic process will help improve our economic situation and uplift the lives of ordinary Filipinos,” he said.