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Reenacted budget detrimental to Philippines’ economic growth — Diokno

/ 04:44 PM December 19, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Reenacting the national budget for next year will slow down economic growth and will adversely affect public infrastructure and poverty-alleviation programs.

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Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said this on Wednesday as the government, for the first time in nine years, will operate on a reenacted budget next year, which economic managers said could threaten the implementation of the administration’s infrastructure plan that aims to spur economic growth.

“Under a reenacted budget, no new infrastructure projects can start because the Capital Outlays component of the previous year’s budget cannot be deemed reenacted,” Diokno said in a Palace briefing.

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However, Diokno noted that “large projects covered by Multi-Year Obligational Authority (MYOA) will not be adversely affected.”

The Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for Local Government Units (LGUs) and debt service will also not be affected as they are automatically appropriated and will receive allocations based on the 2019 National Expenditure Program, Diokno said.

Meanwhile, personnel services and the maintenance and other operating expenses will be reenacted based on the 2018 level, which means salary adjustments for civilian and military personnel programmed for 2019 will have to wait.

In total, according to Department of Budget and Management (DBM) estimates, a reenacted budget for the first quarter of 2019 will reduce total disbursements by P43.7 billion.

On a full-year basis, it will reach P219.8 billion, Diokno added.

“This will be detrimental to the economic growth and development objectives of the Duterte Administration. The government intends to ramp up investments on public infrastructure, poverty-alleviation, and social services,” Diokno said.

“We are hopeful that legislators will see the urgency and wisdom in passing at the soonest possible time the National Budget for 2019,” he added. /ee

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TAGS: 2019 budget, Ben Diokno, DBM, Economy, General Appropriations Bill, Philippine news update, reenacted budget
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