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Lacson admits Congress to blame for slow GDP growth

Sotto says ‘Don’t blame Senate’
By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 06:44 PM May 09, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson admitted that Congress could be the “main culprit” for the country’s slow gross domestic product (GDP) growth, but Senate President Vicente “Tito” III thinks otherwise.

According to National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) chief Ernesto Pernia, the GDP’s slow expansion was due to the late approval of the 2019 national budget.

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READ: Philippine GDP growth slowed to 5.6% in Q1

“Admittedly, Congress could be the main culprit for the lower than projected GDP growth rate at 5.6% as clearly, the one-quarter delay in the passage of the 2019 national budget slowed down spending,” Lacson said in a statement on Thursday.

“Hopefully, we can catch up in the succeeding months since election expenses normally contribute to better consumption of goods and services,” Lacson added.

‘Do not blame us!’

Meanwhile, Sotto said that the Senate should be spared, and the Lower House should be blamed solely for “belatedly” giving them its approved version of the national budget.

“Congress? Not the Senate! Lower House sent it to us much belatedly then prevented the approval when they realigned unconstitutionally,” the Senate President said in a statement.

“Do not blame us!” Sotto added.

Sotto’s answer may have echoed Pernia’s sentiments about the Lower House may be blamed for the late approval of the budget.

When the INQUIRER.net asked the Neda chief about this, he replied: “Your question answered itself.”

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“I think our statement [against budget delays] is strong enough but polite. And we hope our colleagues in the legislature will be sensitive to what has happened. Because we had warned several times about the problem, the risks of a delayed budget enactment,” Pernia added. /ee

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TAGS: 2019 budget, Ernesto Pernia, GDP growth, NEDA, Panfilo Lacson, Philippine news update, Vicente Sotto III
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