The two chambers have been clashing over some budget provisions including a Senate proposal to remove the P50.7 billion from the outlay of the Public Works department for right-of-way acquisitions. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, however, is optimistic that the 2018 budget will be passed this month. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, File
The two chambers have been clashing over some budget provisions including a Senate proposal to remove the P50.7 billion from the outlay of the Public Works department for right-of-way acquisitions. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, however, is optimistic that the 2018 budget will be passed this month. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, File
Palace confident 2018 budget will be passed this month
Alexis Romero (philstar.com) - December 4, 2017 - 7:41am
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang remains confident that the House of Representatives and the Senate would be able to patch up their differences over the 2018 budget.
 
The two chambers have been clashing over some budget provisions including a Senate proposal to remove the P50.7 billion from the outlay of the Public Works department for right-of-way acquisitions.
 
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has raised the possibility of a reenacted budget if the Senate insists on amending the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for next year.
 
But presidential spokesman Harry Roque is optimistic that the 2018 budget will be passed this month.
 
“I can't comment on a purely speculative matter. I cannot believe that the House and the Senate cannot agree on next year's budget,” Roque said in a press briefing Monday.  
 
“The Palace has all the confidence that we will have the budget pursuant to the request made by the Palace because this budget is crucial to the build, build, build program of the government intended to alleviate poverty in this country,” he added.
 
The government will reenact this year’s P3.35 trillion budget if Congress fails to pass a new outlay within the year. The last day of session of Congress for this year is on December 13.
 
A reenacted budget will give the executive branch the leeway to use funds that were allotted for projects that have been completed.
 
Another contentious point in next year’s budget is the realignment of P1.4 billion anti-illegal drugs budget of the Philippine National Police and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to housing for soldiers and policemen. 

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