DBM finds nothing "strongly objectionable" in 2020 budget
The Department of Budget and Management ( DBM) said on Wednesday there was nothing "strongly objectionable," which could have warranted President Rodrigo Duterte's exercise of his veto power in the recently approved P4.1-trillion budget.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Budget Director Ryan Lita said the DBM did not recommend to Duterte to veto any item after the review of the enrolled 2020 General Appropriations Bill prior to its signing by the President last Monday.
"Based on the review by the DBM, we didn’t find any item of appropriation provision or proviso that is strongly objectionable vis-à-vis existing laws and policies and which cannot be addressed by conditional implementation or general observation," he said.
In Duterte's budget message, he spelled out some "specific conditions" prior to the implementation of some provisions in the 2020 General Appropriations Act.
Asked if those items in the budget law with conditional implementation could be considered questionable, Lita said, "Well, the DBM, in the exercise of its function, needs to ensure that the release of funds is in accordance with laws and policies. So the guidelines need to be detailed in the conditional implementation."
"It addresses some issues that need to be clarified. So in effect, it prevents the release of funds to be questionable," he added.
Duterte did not veto any provision in the current budget law despite an earlier call by Senator Panfilo Lacson Jr who claimed of "insertions" made by the House of Representatives.
Lacson has said that he submitted to the DBM a list of highly-questionable line items in the GAA.
Lita said he has no knowledge yet about the list.
But he assured, "there's nothing that cannot be addressed by the conditional implementation or general observation that will be issued for the purpose." Celerina Monte/DMS