“Certainly, a power struggle in the House will affect our timelines, and I hope not because we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. We have about 10% unemployment [rate], we’re expected to have a contraction in our economy, so a delay in the budget would be critical,” Drilon said in an interview on ANC.
Drilon added a similar “power struggle” in 2018 also hindered the passage of the 2019 General Appropriations Act.
“If we again delay the General Appropriations Act in 2021, you do not expect a recovery in our economy, or the economy will be derailed. So, very critical. More than any other time in the past, it is critical that the budget be enacted on time,” Drilon said.
Drilon, however, did not respond to the question as to whether the power struggle in House is a fight for pork barrel.
He said the disagreement between the lawmakers is due to the “lack of transparency in the allocation” of projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways.
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‘Power struggle’ in Congress
Last week, Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. and Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte argued over infrastructure funds allocated to some districts.
Teves questioned the P8 billion allocations for Taguig City, where Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano serves and P11.8 billion for Camarines Sur under Villafuerte.
Villafuerte dismissed said Teves’ claims is only a “sinister ploy” by Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco‘s supporters to derail the Congress’ plan to finish the 2021 national budget deliberations by the end of September.