House to act on 2019 proposed national budget Print
Friday, 27 July 2018 12:00

The House of Representatives will immediately refer to the House Committee on Appropriations the proposed National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2019 after its submission to Congress by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Zamboanga Congressman CelsoLobregat said that the lower house already received from the President the 2019 first cash-based national budget amounting to P3.757-trillion, which was referred to the Committee on Appropriations after the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday.

The 2019 National Expenditure Program (NEP), which amounts to P3.757 trillion, represents the 19.3% of the projected gross domestic products (GDP) for 2019.

The proposed budget is higher by P439.4- billion or 13.2% than its cash-based equivalent in the 2018 budget of P3.318 trillion.

Last year, the House referred the 2018 NEP to the appropriations committee the day after the President submitted it to Congress during the SONA.

A swift action by the House on the budget measure will avoid a re-enactment of the budget as it has successfully done during the 17th Congress.((Lobregat said that they are trying to avoid a re-enacted budget because it is not good for the economy.

The government has no choice but to request a supplemental budget if the budget for the year is not sufficient.

He added that the House successfully avoided a budget re-enactment during the 17th Congress through a judicious action on the budget proposals.

The shift to cash-based budgeting is aimed towards reducing underspending among agencies. The set-up would “force” government agencies to spend because the shift would mean that their budgets are valid only for one year.

Unspent allocations for the year will revert to savings. Prior to the shift, obligation-based budgeting allowed agencies up to two years to spend their budgets.

Under the proposed 2019 budget, education, infrastructure and interior government departments will get the most funds.  (Dexter Yap)