Philippines: ‘Congress to suffer with re-enacted budget’

  • Administration and opposition lawmakers are getting mixed signals from the budget program for 2019 submitted by President Duterte’s economic managers.
  • “Where is the income from TRAIN and where will it go? Practically, all Cabinet members are now making a confession, and it’s because they themselves don’t know the answers. Is the TRAIN successful? Then why give additional burden to people?” House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said on 13 Aug 18.
  • The Senate, meanwhile, also suspended its deliberations on the proposed PHP3.7tr national budget pending the resolution of the impasse between the House of Representatives and the Executive branch over budgeting approach.
  • The House leadership under Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also suspended the budget hearings in the wake of confusion over the cash-based budgeting scheme being pushed by President Duterte’s economic managers. Lawmakers prefer an obligation-based budgeting.
  • But Andaya, along with Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, said a re-enacted budget would only be a last resort. “Right now, we are not in favour of re-enacted budget,” Andaya said. “It’s too early to talk about that. It’s still Aug 18, not Dec 18,” Nograles pointed out.
  • Nograles, chairman of the House appropriations committee, lamented the multibillion-peso reductions made by the Department of Budget and Management in the allocations for key agencies like the health and education departments.
  • Opposition of the House of Representatives majority bloc to the PHP3.757tr proposed 2019 national budget caught Malacañang by surprise, at a time a newly installed leadership has just settled down in the chamber and with preparations for the May 19 mid-term elections soon under way.
  • Lawmakers from the super majority coalition, the minority bloc of Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, the Makabayan bloc as well as the independent opposition have joined forces to question the cash-based budgeting of the DBCC.
  • The cash-based budgeting limits appropriations, bidding, completion of projects and payments within a single year. In obligation-based budgeting, appropriations could be spread out for two years or more to ensure project completion.
  • Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte called on national government agencies to get their act together in implementing infrastructure projects in support of President Duterte’s build, build, build program.

External Link: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/08/14/1842432/congress-suffer-reenacted-budget

External Link: http://www.bworldonline.com/budget-spat-puts-in-doubt-palace-clout-in-house/

14-Aug-2018


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