Palace: Duterte may sign 2019 national budget after Lenten break

12-Apr-2019 Intellasia | UNTV News | 6:00 AM Print This Post

President Rodrigo Duterte may sign the long-delayed 2019 national budget proposal after the Lenten break, Malacanang said on Thursday (April 11).

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President is still reviewing the 2019 general Appropriations Act which was transmitted to his office late March.

“Kinalendar na pero pinag-aaralan niya [Duterte], baka after holy week,” Panelo said.

(It has been calendared already but he is still reviewing it. Maybe after Holy Week.)

Panelo’s statement came after Malacanang, on Wednesday, released the President’s tentative schedule of activities on April 15 which includes the signing of the P3.737 trillion budget.

The Palace official said the schedule was moved as the President is still reviewing the bill. It also remains unclear if Duterte vetoed any item on the budget proposal.

Panelo also made clear that the President’s schedule could still change anytime.

“Naka-calendar tapos tinanggal sa calendar, eh di pwede rin ibalik di ba? Lahat ng schedule niya [Duterte] subject to change without prior notice” he added.

(It was calendared but was later removed so we can still put it back right? His schedule is subject to change without prior notice.)

The approval of the budget was delayed for months due to an impasse between lawmakers over the alleged insertions and realignments made by the House of Representatives after the bill was ratified by both chambers of Congress.

The government has been running on a reenacted budget since January after the Congress failed to pass the proposed 2019 spending programme on time.

Senate President vicente Sotto III had signed a copy of the enrolled bill late March with “strong reservations,” maintaining that the P75 billion worth of projects under the local infrastructure programme of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) funded through the “internal realignments” were “unconstitutional.”

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rolando Andaya, Jr. had slammed Sotto’s “unwarranted” move and accused the Senate of cutting down funds for infrastructure projects.


Category: Philippines

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