Budget delay a ‘one-off’ event — Dominguez
MANILA, Philippines — Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Monday he believes the delayed approval of the budget for 2019 is a “one-off” event.
Dominguez said delays in budget pose a problem in the country’s economy, citing the 5.6 percent economic growth in the first quarter of the year, which could have been higher by one percentage point.
“I think the budget delay is a one-off. I don’t think subsequent Congresses will delay the budget again because it is so obvious how harmful these delays can be to the economy,” Dominguez said at the pre-State of the Nation Address (Sona) Economic and Infrastructure Forum at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
“Everybody’s aware, especially the people in the legislature, that delays certainly harm the public,” Dominguez added.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the national budget in April 2019 after delays due to alleged insertions and questionable allocations in Congress.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in early May that the budget delay is the reason behind the four-year low Philippines’ economic growth recorded in the first quarter of the year.
“The 5.6 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth that registered in the first quarter of 2019 was caused by the budget impasse, which has now been resolved,” Panelo said.
Panelo, however, expressed confidence that the country’s economic growth would improve in the next quarters.
“President Rodrigo Duterte and the Cabinet have been thoroughly briefed and apprised by our economic managers on the situation, and the Palace, therefore, remains confident that we will still reach our full-year 2019 economic target of 6% to 7%,” Panelo explained. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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