Palace rejects call for Duterte to break budget row
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang rejected Thursday the call of lawmakers for President Rodrigo Duterte to “exert effort” to break the impasse on the 2019 national budget.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo reiterated his statement confirming that Duterte would not be making any move on the impasse.
“Well, the President is not making any move. His last statement was: ‘Solve it on your own,’” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
The government has been operating on a reenacted budget since the start of the year after Congress failed to pass the P3.757 trillion national budget for 2019 amid allegations of questionable allocations and insertions.
Congress leaders failed to reach a consensus even after a meeting with Duterte in Malacañang.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has said the delay in the passage of the 2019 budget was hurting the economy.
Socioeconomic Secretary Ernesto Pernia has also said that the budget delay would cut economic growth to an eight-year low.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri urged Malacañang to “exert pressure” on the House of Representatives to finally end the impasse.
Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. also urged the President on Wednesday to issue a “strong pronouncement” to break the budget impasse and compel Congress to pass the proposed P3.757 trillion 2019 national budget.
“Well, if national interest is a concern, then I supposed every member of Congress knows that they have to respond to the needs of the times,” Panelo said. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.