This sad and frustrating congress

"They (Reps. Rolando Andaya, Edcel Lagman and Ronaldo Zamora) were the ones who worked on the budget, not me. And they have been setting the record straight,"

The quote of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from a CNN Philippines article does not help soothe concerns about the long delayed budget which threatens the deployment of necessary expenditures that, as the President himself warned, will affect our economic growth.

It will also restrict the funding for many initiatives such as the hiring of new teachers needed to fill the gap for schools faced with more students.

Thankfully, the president signed EO No. 76 on March 15, citing the need to implement the fourth tranche salary schedule for civilian government personnel by Jan. 1 of 2019 as indicated in EO 201, against other available funds. This is the executive making do with what we have left, leaving a bad stain on the reputation of congress who wields the power of the purse.

The main controversy over the budget, and its delay has to do with supposed illegal insertions by representatives after the bicameral conference committee approved it.

Rather than take charge of the delay and work to resolve it, we get a buck passing excuse from the speaker, and more uncertainty from the elected representatives of the people and our senators who seem to be experts at bickering rather than legislating the budget which is needed to implement many of the laws the claim to have helped pass.

Sad and frustrating this congress has become. Photo: CTTO