Drilon urges Congress to resume 2019 budget deliberations

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2018 08:06 PM

MANILA - Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday urged both houses of Congress to resume deliberations of the 2019 national budget as part of their "constitutional duty."

“I urge both houses of Congress to resume deliberations of the budget because it is our constitutional duty to enact an annual budget. We cannot and we should not allow a reenacted budget, most particularly in an election year,” Drilon said.

The "foolish talks" of a reenacted budget will not lead to anywhere, he said. 

Drilon said the delay in the enactment of the national budget would be detrimental to the economy, the implementation of crucial laws such as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, and the scheduled salary increase of government employees.

The House of Representatives suspended the deliberations on August 11 to revert to obligation-based budgeting from the proposed cash-based system, appropriations committee chair and Davao City 1st District Rep. Karlo Nograles had said.

The Senate also suspended its deliberations pending the House's decision on the matter.

Socioeconomic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia, who also urged the House to "accept" the cash-based budgeting, has said that the 2019 budget cannot be reverted or reenacted since it has already been submitted to the President. 

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a cash-based budgeting will further help curb underspending.

The cash-based budgeting will also pressure agencies and contractors to finish projects, or deliver parts of the projects within the fiscal year, Pernia has said.