House assures ‘on time’ transmittal of 2019 budget

MANILA The leadership of the House of Representatives on Friday gave its assurance to the Senate that the proposed PHP3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 will be transmitted as soon as the lower chamber is done with its "rigorous double-checking and verification" processes.

Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. made the statement following Senator Panfilo Lacson's call for the House to approve the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on final reading and transmit it to Senate for deliberation before the December congressional break.

Andaya said the lower chamber is scrutinizing the "thousands of line items in a spending measure that will cost taxpayers almost PHP3.8 trillion", while noting that there is enough time to finish the proposed budget.

"We believe that we all have sufficient time in our legislative calendar to pass the budget and send it to President Duterte before the end of the year," he said.

He also reiterated the House's stance against a reenacted or operating budget based on the previous year's budget.

"We are reiterating our strong position against a reenacted budget because such will be hard to implement, will constrict spending, and will give wide latitude and discretion to the executive on what projects to implement," he said.

"We are committed to a budget that will be 100 percent compliant with the rules of Congress, with all the laws on budgeting, and with the jurisprudence on appropriations," he added.

The House of Representatives approved the GAB on second reading in October. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency