Duterte wants no delays in 2020 budget bill passage – Palace
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte does not want delays in the passage of the 2020 P4.1 trillion national budget, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this was the reason why Duterte certified the budget as urgent.
“He wants the members of Congress [to know] the importance of passing the budget on time to avoid a repeat of last year’s delay of its passage that wreak havoc in the economic program of the Administration and affected the delivery of basic services to the people,” Panelo said.
In his September 17 letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte urged the swift passage of the 2020 budget to “maintain continuous government operations.”
READ: Duterte wants swift passage of P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020
He said the swift passage of the 2020 national budget would “ensure the budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its Constitutional mandate.”
In a separate text message, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said he recommended to the President to certify the national budget as urgent.
Asked if he expects a smooth-sailing passage of the budget, he replied: “hopefully.”
In a statement also on Thursday, Panelo said “govenment operations must never be hampered and our constitutional mandate to serve the Filipino people must prevail over partisan considerations and constant differences or varying interpretations on the budget.”
The passage of the 2019 national budget had been delayed due to questionable allocations and pork insertions.
Duterte even vetoed P95.3 billion worth of items in the 2019 national budget when he signed it last April. /gsg
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