Resolve cash-based budgeting dilemma, MalacaAang urged to step in

MANILA Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday urged MalacaAang to step in to resolve the issue on cash-based budgeting, following the standing suspension of deliberations on the proposed PHP3.757 trillion national budget for 2019.

"MalacaAang should step in, but I think they're having discussions," he said when asked if President Rodrigo Duterte should intervene.

"Somehow, somewhere, I hope there would be a resolution and this should be resolved between MalacaAang and the House of Representatives," he added.

In an earlier tweet, Lacson slammed unnamed congressmen over the national budget standoff.

"Some congressmen are protesting the budget cuts for 'their infra projects' aka PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund). They need massive detox and full rehab so they can lick the more dangerous addiction for money," he said.

As a consequence of cash-based budget system, Lacson said "pet" projects of some legislators at the House of Representatives will be affected. "They said it: There were reductions."

In the annual cash-based budget, contracts intended to be implemented for the fiscal year should be fully delivered by the end of the year.

Amid opposition from the Lower House, Lacson reiterated Senate's support for the proposed PHP3.757 trillion national budget for 2019.

The Senate finance committee chair already urged his colleagues to proceed with the committee hearings, but Lacson said with the suspension on hearings still in place at the House, the deliberations would be "pointless."

"Should we proceed with the committee hearings, it would look like an oversight hearing. We will ask for documents, the 2018 budget and 2017 budget but we cannot recommend to the plenary. We cannot debate it on the plenary if we don't have the House version of the budget," he said.

He said it is the change of tone within the lower chamber, which already approved the Budget Reform Bill in March 2018, that baffles him.

"If you would recall, the House passed it already and now they're contemplating of recalling or withdrawing, so why is there a sudden change of heart? They're the ones facilitating the passage of Budget Reform Bill," Lacson said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency