Angara: Delay in 2020 budget has no impact on gov’t operations
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara expects the implementation of more infrastructure projects with the signing of the “first legacy budget” of the Duterte administration.
As chairman of the committee on finance, Angara spearheaded the Senate’s discussions and approval of this year’s P4.1 trillion General Appropriation Act (GAA).
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the 2020 GAA this Monday.
“We were off by a few days but this should have no impact on the operation of the government,” Angara said in a statement.
Angara noted how Congress worked hard to avoid a repeat of last year’s budget approval which was delayed by four months allegedly due to pork insertions.
“Our experience with the 2019 General Appropriations Act was regrettable. The delays faced in the approval of the measure proved to be very costly on the people, who were expecting the timely delivery of key services, and on the economy, which grew at a slower pace,” he said.
“With this in mind, all members of Congress worked together to prevent a similar situation from happening with the 2020 budget. As it has been in previous years, there were differences on some issues, but we were able to resolve these with haste, all for the greater good of the country,” the senator added.
Under the 2020 GAA, Angara said the Department of Public Works and Highways received a net increase of P51.139 billion.
“The idea is to complete as many projects as possible by the time President Duterte ends his term in 2022,” he explained.
“For the more complex projects, the plan is to get the ball rolling already so that the next administration will just continue these and complete them during their term.”
Education and social services are also given priority in the national budget, the senator said.
Angara said the conditional cash transfer or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will continue and the benefits due to senior citizens, including the P6,000 annual social pension, will still be funded in the 2020 budget.
This year’s budget also provides for the continues hiring of health care professionals such as the doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists.
The senator identified the top 10 agencies that were given huge allocations in the 2020 budget:
1. Education (DepEd, SUCs, CHED, TESDA) – P654.6 billion
2. Department of Public Works and Highways – P580.8 billion
3. Department of Interior and Local Government – P239.8 billion
4. Department of National Defense – P191.7 billion
5. Department of Social Welfare and Development – P163.8 billion
6. Department of Health – P101 billion
7. Department of Transportation – P99.3 billion
8. Department of Agriculture – P62.2 billion
9. Judiciary – P40.1 billion
10. Department of Environment and Natural Resources – P25.5 billion
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