Duterte certifies 2020 national budget bill as urgent

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2019 06:00 PM | Updated as of Sep 19 2019 08:27 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte signs the 2019 General Appropriations Act at the Malacañang Palace on April 15, 2019. King Rodriguez, Presidential Photos/File

MANILA (UPDATE)—President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget.

Duterte, in his Sept. 17 letter to the leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, called for the immediate passage of the 2020 national budget to “maintain continuous government operations."

The President added that the budget is needed to “expedite the funding of various programs, projects and to ensure budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its constitutional mandate.”

Duterte's certification allows the House and the Senate to pass the bill on second, third and final reading on the same day.

In his budget message, Duterte said that next year's spending plan "will aim to build on the fruits and gains of the previous annual expenditure programs."

The government operated on a reenactment of the 2018 budget from January this year until the 2019 budget was signed last April. 

The delay slowed spending and dragged gross domestic product growth lower in the first half.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte wanted to pass the 2020 budget on time to avoid a repeat of the delayed passage of this year's spending plan.

"He wants the members of Congress [to know] the importance of passing the budget on time to avoid a repeat of last year’s delay of its passage that wreak havoc in the economic program of the administration, and affected the delivery of basic services to the people," he said in a statement.—With a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News