Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said insertions should be avoided because a delayed implementation of the budget could slow the country’s economic growth.
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Budget must be guarded vs insertions — Palace
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday cited the need to watch out for possible “insertions” in the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for next year to prevent a repeat of the “painful” lessons from the delayed passage of the 2019 spending bill.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said insertions should be avoided because a delayed implementation of the budget could slow the country’s economic growth. 

“Wala na dapat. Yun ang dapat bantayan to make sure di na mangyari (That should be avoided. We should be vigilant to make sure it won’t happen again),” Nograles told radio station dzBB. 

Congress failed to approve this year’s P3.662-trillion national budget on time as lawmakers accused each other of placing insertions or last-minute changes to the spending bill.

The delay forced the Duterte administration to operate on a reenacted 2018 outlay in the first three months of the year. 

President Duterte signed the 2019 budget in April but vetoed public works projects worth P95.37 billion. 

In his veto message, the President did not describe the vetoed projects as illegal but stressed that he would not allow “attempts to circumvent the Constitution” or any other action that would “prejudice” the Filipino people.

The delayed implementation of the budget affected government spending and caused the slower-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter, economic managers said. 

The growth of the country’s gross domestic product, the sum total of all goods and services produced in an economy, slowed to 5.6 percent in the first quarter, slower than the 6.5 percent growth recorded in the first quarter of 2018 and the revised 6.3 percent growth in the fourth quarter of the same year. 

“I think the painful lesson is in a budget impasse, nobody really wins,” Nograles said. 

“It posed challenges to capital outlay spending and the implementation of our infrastructure program. The implementation of projects will be delayed and that will translate to lower economic growth,” he added. 

Nograles said the House of Representatives is holding budget hearings every Friday to ensure the timely passage of the budget. He expressed hope that Duterte would be able to sign the 2020 budget before Christmas. 

2020 NATIONAL BUDGET INSERTIONS
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