By Genalyn Kabiling
The government cannot afford to delay in the passage of the 2020 national budget after the 2019 budget impasse affected economic development, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday.
Nograles issued the statement after voicing optimism about the early approval of the P4.1-trillion budget proposal in Congress.
“We are very confident the House of Representatives with its super majority and under leadership of Speaker (Alan Peter) Cayetano will really push for its early approval or at the very least, yung approval niya as scheduled,” he said during a media forum in Manila.
“We cannot afford to have another budget impasse this year, especially in light of the fact that our economic indicators were affected for the past two quarters of the year. That’s many due to the budget impasse,” he said.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had earlier submitted the 2020 national budget proposal to Congress that aims to sustain government programs on social services, infrastructure development, among others. The budget proposal is higher than the P3.6-trillion budget in 2019.
Nograles admitted that the government is currently “playing catch up” in terms of spending after the passage of the 2019 national budget was delayed.
He also supported a proposal to extend the validity of the 2019 budget, which was only passed last April after a budget impasse, to ensure uninterrupted public spending.
“Realistically, we won’t be able to spend all of the money that has been allocated for 2019 given the fact the budget was approved late so the downloading of funds to agencies and department will also be late. Capital outlay and infrastructure will consequently be late, too,” he added.