Palace asks Congress, pass 2019 budget

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DAVAO CITY (January 8) — Malacañang on Monday called on the members of Congress to urgently pass the proposed PHP3.757-trillion 2019 national budget, saying the further delay would not be acceptable to the Filipinos who put them into office.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo  asked the legislators to forget partisan politics, and instead, work for the benefit of the people.

In a statement, Panelo stressed  “We urgently call on Congress and graciously urge it to approve the general budget at the soonest possible time, otherwise delay in its approval will affect the release of the funds for the salary hike of soldiers, policemen, teachers and civilian employees.”

Panelo added, “Further unreasonable delay on the part of Congress to approve the General Appropriation Bill that will throw a monkey wrench on the program of the administration will be unacceptable to the sovereign people that placed them in office.”

Panelo said the proposed budget’s swift passage was necessary as the country continues to face crisis and calamity one after the other, the most recent one being tropical depression “Usman” which wreaked havoc in the Bicol region.

The approval of the budget, according to Panelo,  “will merit approbation and accolade to all the members of Congress by a grateful nation.”

Panelo reminded the Congress that the Executive Department submitted the proposed general budget on the very day that the President delivered his third State of Nation of Address (SONA) on July 23, 2018.

On Dec. 28, 2018, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed a resolution extending the validity of the 2018 National Expenditure Program (NEP) to Dec. 31, 2019.

Currently, the government has started operating under a reenacted budget on January 1 this year until the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is passed.

The Congress did not pass the 2019 budget before the December 31, 2018, as issues of budget insertions snagged the deliberations.

Congressmen cried foul over allocations by some members which they think was unfairly distributed.-Editha Z. Caduaya/NewsLine.ph

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