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Palace rejects call for Duterte to break budget row

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 02:02 PM March 21, 2019
Palace rejects call for Duterte to break budget row

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. (File photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)

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.

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READ: Palace on budget impasse: It’s all up to Congress

“Well, the President is not making any move. His last statement was: ‘Solve it on your own,’” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

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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.

READ: Delay in 2019 budget approval hurting economy, says Finance chief

Socioeconomic Secretary Ernesto Pernia has also said that the budget delay would cut economic growth to an eight-year low.

READ: Budget delay to cut growth to 8-yr low

On Wednesday, Senate  Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri urged Malacañang to “exert pressure” on the House of Representatives to finally end the impasse.

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READ: Zubiri seeks Palace intervention to end budget row

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.

READ: Duterte urged to issue decisive order on 2019 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

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TAGS: budget, Local news, National Budget, Palace, Panelo, Philippine news update
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