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Congress wants to increase deficit level in 2019 nat’l budget—Diokno

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 02:08 PM August 14, 2018
Benjamin Diokno

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno talks about the 2019 national budget, federalism and government disbursement during the Meet Inquirer Multimedia Forum at the Inquirer headquarters in Makati City. INQUIRER.net / NESTOR CORRALES

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Tuesday said Congress wanted to increase the deficit level in the cash-based P3.757-trillon national budget for 2019.

Diokno made this statement after he met with Senate Finance Committee chair Loren Legarda and House Appropriations Committee chair Karlo Nograles.

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“Well, the request was they will return [the budget] to us and we will increase the budget. And I said that’s not possible,” Diokno said during the Meet Inquirer Multimedia Forum at the Philippine Daily Inquirer Headquarters in Makati City.

“Apparently, they are not happy with the budget. They want to increase the deficit level. Our deficit level for this budget is as we estimate for this budget is 3.2 percent, slightly higher than our medium term fiscal plan,” he added.

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He said the proposal was for the government to “increase the deficit.”

“That of course is not acceptable to us,” he said.

The budget chief said the Duterte administration was ready for a reenacted budget.

“You (Congress) may choose to reject the budget as we proposed and we are ready for a reenacted budget because that is also provided for in the Constitution,” he said. “The Constitution provides that if Congress fails to pass the budget by December this year, then this year’s budget is deemed reenacted.”

He said a reenacted budget was the administration’s Plan B.

“Our Plan A is to pass the budget. If they cannot be persuaded, we go to Plan B, which is a reenacted budget,” he said.

The House of Representatives and the Senate had earlier suspended the hearings for the 2019 national budget as they expressed opposition to the administration’s shift to a cash-based budget system. /je

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TAGS: cash-based, deficit level, Diokno, increase, proposed national budget 2019, reenacted
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