Transcript of Interview of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III

SP Sotto: As of now the only report that I got from Senator Loren Legarda, the chairman of the Committee on Finance, is that they have agreed to remove issues on flood control and drainage that was about it. Pero, as far as the Senate is concerned, we stand on the institutional amendments. These are nece4sszary amendments for the continuing of the health services, yung mga ganun, hindi naman mga individual amendments yun. We have not received a full report yet. I expect a report now, so ang mangyayari, kung hindi sila magkakasundo, at saka meron naman panibagong hinihingi naman yata for 2018 ang House, talagang mangyayari dyan mapupuntang reenacted budget yan. Now, if it's reenacted, I believe that the Executive Department might be able to do legal means to be able to continue services of government na kahit reenacted yan. And then by July, we will pass the budget with the new House leadership.

Q: When you say tatanggalin yung flood control and drainage issues, ano ang ibig sabihin nun?

SP Sotto: Kasi marami daw merong mga amendments na ganun. Meron daw mga insertions na ganun.

Q: From the Senate?

SP Sotto: I don't know if it comes from the Senate, it comes from reports.

Q: Zero budget ang flood and drainage?

SP Sotto: Oo, dapat zero yun.

Q: Amendments po ng House or Senate or both?

SP Sotto: I'm not too sure. Some from the House I think.

Q: Some from the House?

SP Sotto: I don't recall any amendment from the Senate about flood control or drainage.

Q: Lahat yun tatanggalin na?

SP Sotto: Yun ang unang g report sa akin ni Senator Legarda.

Q: And you are okay with it?

SP Sotto: Of course, yun ang unang report, wala pa yung continuing report, kung ano ang napagkasunduan. Ang sinasabi ko lang sa inyo is possible scenarios in case we do not agree by Wednesday.

Q: Yung sinasabi ninyo ngayon na hanggang July, hintayin ninyo na lang ang change of leadership?

SP Sotto: Magre-reenacted na ito kung hindi namin maipapasa by that time that Congress takes a break for the election period and therefore, pagbalik ng July na lang, dahil May and June, ganun pa rin yan, so pwede namang magreenacted na yan until July. In July with the new House leadership we can come up with a compromise on the budget para walang problema sa executive Department.

Q: Sabi po ni ES Medialdea dismayado na si Presidente sa delay sa budget.

SP Sotto: Sinabi rin niya sa amin yun.

Q: (Unclear)

SP Sotto: The Senate has the same formula as the Supreme Court.

Q: Implement stricter rules?

SP Sotto: Hindi, basta the Supreme Court's stand on it is the same as the Senate.

Source: Senate of the Philippines