Malacanang may resort to supplemental budget if Congress would slash the Department of Public Works and Highways' allocation by P75-billion in 2019.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo expressed belief that even if Congress would cut the budget for infrastructure by P75 billion, Which the lawmakers called as "insertions," there are ther "creative" ways to fund the DPWH projects.
"Well, if we lack (the budget), we can add on the appropriations, there could be supplemental budget...for as long as it is for the good of the country, every branch of the government should cooperate," he said.
During the deliberation on the proposed P3.757 trillion budget in the Senate, the senators have agreed to remove the P75 billion that was reportedly "inserted" into the DPWH's budget.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar reportedly admitted that he had no prior knowledge about the P75 billion that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno added to the department's proposed budget.
Panelo refused to call the P75 billion as insertion. ''Number one, the assumption is wrong. The Executive
did not insert, it's their job to provide the budget proposal. Number two, that's the job of Congress to
amend. If they did it, they were doing their job," Panelo explained.
He added that the P75 billion that was added to the DPWH budget was discussed in one of the Cabinet
meetings and the President approved it.
He said that Villar was aware of the P75 billion additional fund.
"He (Villar) was not only informed, he was present in the Cabinet. Unless he went out to make a pee, he failed to hear that portion. But I doubt," he said.
The Palace has been blaming Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, for taking hostage the proposed budget for this year.
This is the first time under the Duterte administration that the government has been operating under a reenacted budget due to Congress' failure to pass the budget last year. Celerina Monte/DMS