President Duterte signs the 2019 General Appropriations Act at Malacañang with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as a witness. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the executive department might be able to send its proposed spending plan to Congress within two weeks.
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'Not today': Palace to submit proposed 2020 budget 'maybe in two weeks'
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - July 22, 2019 - 4:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — The executive department is expected to submit its proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for next year to Congress within the next two weeks, Malacañang said Monday.

"Not today, maybe in two weeks," Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a text message when asked whether the president would be able to submit the 2020 budget to Congress during the joint session for the State of the Nation Address.  

Nograles said the executive department could still comply with the timeline provided under the 1987 Constitution. 

"[The] constitution provides it will be submitted within 30 days after SONA. So we still have time," the Cabinet secretary said. 

Previous Budget secretaries had submitted proposed expenditure programs on the day of the SONA, which marks the opening of each regular session of Congress.

Budget department officer-in-charge Janet Abuel told reporters recently that her agency would coordinate first with other agencies and Congress before submitting the expenditure bill to the legislature. 

The proposed 2020 budget is higher by 9.1 percent than this year's P3.7-trillion outlay.

Delayed budget slows growth

The delayed passage of the 2019 budget "led the government to miss the opportunity to create as many as 260,000 to 320,000 more jobs, affecting the construction, public administration and defense, wholesale and retail trade, land transport and education sectors," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in May.

Because the budget bill was not passed by the end of 2018, the government had to operate on a reenacted budget. This was the first time that that had happened since the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Economic growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, also went down to 5.6 percent—the weakest in 16 quarters or since hitting 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015—due to the delayed budget.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said growth could have logged at 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019 had the government operated under the 2019 fiscal program.

"As we have forewarned repeatedly, the reenacted budget would sharply slow the pace of our economic growth," he said in a briefing also in May.

DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT KARLO NOGRALES NATIONAL BUDGET NATIONAL EXPENDITURE PROGRAM
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