House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez twits Opposition Congressman Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman’s criticism that the House is rushing the debates on the proposed 2018 budget.

Alvarez told a media interview, “eh bakit ba natin patagalin eh kailangan natin madaliin yan at ang dami nating ginagawa dito sa HoR hindi lang po yan ang ginagawa natin i dont see any reason  kung bakit kailangan natin patagalin yan? eh kung okay na naman ang daming committees niyan  meron tayong committee on appropriation pinagaaralang mabuti yan kakaroon tayo ng pagdinig  at kung ano pa eh wag na natin patagalin dapat nga pabilisin pa natin para matapos tayo diyan at gagawa naman tayo ng ibang trabaho “

asked if the 5 day plenary debates next week are enough, Alvarez said, “ tama na yung 5 days para magpasikat diyan sa baba susmaryosep. isipin mo ang tagal tagal na committees yan o dinedeliberate  o lahat ng itanong mo itanong mo na roon pagdating sa plenary pasikat ka pa rin wag na tama na yung 5 araw para magpasikat subukan niyong magboycott kayo diyan sa baba hindi yan 5 araw 1 araw lang yan tapos yan kayo yung dahilan eh.”

On Tuesday, Lagman  appealed to the majority not to rush the plenary debates on the proposed 2018 budget at the plenary and allow a substantial debate on the floor. “now we’re afraid that the GAA might even be a replica of the NEP because look at whats going to happen. the plenary debates had been reduced to 5 days. september 4-8. yan ang nasa calendar eh. previous congresses the plenary debates spanned a period virtually 2 weeks to give sufficient time..for the House to deliberate and debate. now coupled with a supermajority, which invariably and inoridnately accedes to the demands of the exectuive what are we having now the power of the house over the appropriations measure, what we call the supremacy of the house in appropriations has been lost  its a lost preorogative it is a challenge to the present leadership of the House and a challenge to the present leadership of the committee on appropriation to recapture the supremacy, the  plenary power of the House over  appropriations.”

House Appropriations Committee Chair Karlo Nograles had  confirmed that the debate at the plenary level will be very short. “ Last year, we were able to complete plenary debates in 7 days, considering that it was the new President’s maiden budget. This year, this being President Duterte’s second budget perhaps we can finish this in 5 days.”

Over all, Lagman hits lack of quality debate in the Lower House now following the leadership’s decision to order a roll call at the start of plenary sessions. “roll call at 4 and exodus from the session hall at 430 there is no substantial debate or delierbation in the house no quality debate”