Bill seeking to extend validity of 2019 budget filed at Senate
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara has filed a bill seeking to extend the validity of the 2019 appropriations for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlays (CO) until December 31, 2020.
In filing Senate Bill No. 1153, Angara attributed the “delay of the implementation of infrastructure projects and basic social services” to the late passage of the 2019 budget and the election ban that was imposed in view of this year’s national and local polls.
“There are appropriations that have not been released and allotment issued that have not been obligated, which shall automatically lapse depriving the people and the country of the much-needed MOOE and CO to fund priority projects, financial assistance program, aid, and relief activities as well as for the maintenance, construction/repair, and rehabilitation of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and other essential facilities of the national government,” Angara said in the bill’s explanatory note.
Angara filed the bill on November 6, the same day the Senate finance panel approved a joint resolution extending the validity of this year’s budget.
The senator cited Section 5 of Executive Order No. 95, which requires that all appropriations be obligated by December 31, 2019.
The same EO allows the implementation of and payment for MOOE as well as other CO and infrastructure projects, to be extended until June 30, 2020, and December 31, 2020, respectively.
“It is, therefore, necessary that Section 65 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 11260 should be amended such that the validity of the MOOE and CO appropriations be extended for another fiscal year for the benefit of the people and for the welfare of the nation,” Angara said.
A similar joint resolution seeking the validity of this year’s budget has also been refiled as a bill at the House of Representatives.
House appropriations committee chairperson Rep. Isidro Ungab Jr. said Joint Resolution No 13 was refiled at the chamber last November 7 as House Bill No. 5400.
Ungab explained that the resolution had to be refiled to comply with a recent Supreme Court ruling stating that “a mere resolution cannot amend or repeal a prior law which is an act of Congress.”
Edited by KGA
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