Duterte asks Congress for immediate passage of proposed budget for next year
President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the passage of the proposed P4.1 trillion budget for next year to prevent a repeat of a re-enacted budget.
In a statement on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo underscored the need for the timely passage of the General Appropriations Bill for the government operations not to be affected.
"In certifying the urgency of the budget bill, PRRD wants to convey to the members of Congress the importance of passing the General Appropriations Bill on time to avoid a repeat of a reenacted budget that wreaked havoc to the economic program of this Administration, affected the timely delivery of basic services to the people, and ultimately, slowed our growth during the first quarter of this year," he said.
"Government operations must never be hampered and our constitutional mandate to serve the Filipino people must prevail over partisan considerations and constant differences or varying interpretations on the budget," Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, stressed.
The government has blamed the delay in the passage of the 2019 budget for the lower-than-expected economic growth for the first semester.
The country's gross domestic product averaged at 5.55 percent during the first half, lower than the 6 to 7 percent GDP growth target for this year.
The P3.757 trillion budget for this year was only passed into law last April. Thus, the government operated under a reenacted budget for the first few months of 2019.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, earlier said they hope to approve the proposed budget for next year within the month before it is transmitted to the Senate for its action. Celerina Monte/DMS