Proposal to extend 2019 budget’s validity gets House panel’s nod
MANILA, Philippines – A resolution seeking to extend the validity of the 2019 budget until December 2020 has been approved by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations.
During a hearing on Wednesday, House Joint Resolution Nos. 9 and 10, both seeking an extension, were consolidated into a still unnumbered resolution.
Resolution No. 9 was filed by Antique Lone District Rep. Loren Legarda, while Resolution No. 10 was filed by San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora and Davao Oriental 2nd District Rep. Joel Mayo Almario.
Both resolutions seek to amend Section 65 of Republic Act No. 11260 or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which says that all of the appropriations are only available until December 31, 2019. Otherwise, these funds would be transferred to the General Fund.
Lawmakers who are moving for the extension reasoned out that such measures are necessary as the 2019 budget was passed months into 2019 because of various discussions about the existence of pork within the budget.
Implementation of projects were also hampered by the ban on procurement that went along with the 2019 election season.
“(The budget) was only approved on April 2019, and of course we are talking about the elections, so there was a ban in the procurement. It’s true that the 2019 budget, they were supposed to finish it within one year based on the contract. But the contract was released on August 2019,” one of the lawmakers who attended the meeting said.
The consolidated resolution would then be forwarded to the plenary for deliberations. /muf
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