Philippines: Palace confident 2018 budget will be passed in Dec 17

  • Malacañang remains confident that the House of Representatives and the Senate would be able to patch up their differences over the 2018 budget.
  • The two chambers have been clashing over some budget provisions including a Senate proposal to remove the PHP50.7bn from the outlay of the Public Works department for right-of-way acquisitions.
  • House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has raised the possibility of a reenacted budget if the Senate insists on amending the proposed PHP3.767tr national budget for 2018.
  • But presidential spokesman Harry Roque is optimistic that the 2018 budget will be passed in Dec 17.
  • The government will reenact 2017’s PHP3.35tr budget if Congress fails to pass a new outlay within 2017. The last day of session of Congress for 2017 is on 13 Dec 17.
  • A reenacted budget will give the executive branch the leeway to use funds that were allotted for projects that have been completed.
  • Another contentious point in 2018’s budget is the realignment of PHP1.4bn anti-illegal drugs budget of the Philippine National Police and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to housing for soldiers and policemen.

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