PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is dismayed at lawmakers over the delay in the passage of the proposed 2019 budget.
“I am sure he is dismayed at the legislators’ inaction which will delay his infrastructure proj-ects,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a text message.
But Malacañang remains confident that Congress will pass the budget this week.
“We’re still confident that it will be passed,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in his regular press media briefing in Malacañang.
“We eagerly await the passage of that bill. They know that it will bring adverse consequences if we have a reenacted budget.”
Senate Finance Committee chairperson Loren Legarda also said she and House Appropriations Committee chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. have agreed to hold the last bicameral conference committee meeting to finalize the 2019 budget tomorrow.
During the Senate plenary session, Legarda said they can finalize the budget and have it ready for ratification by Friday at the latest.
Meanwhile, House Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay is also positive that the national budget will be ratified before Congress goes on break.
Economic managers have repeatedly warned that a reenacted budget may lead to a slowdown in economic growth as this would delay government projects. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) plans to resolve this by exempting big ticket infrastructure projects from the procurement ban during election season.
The Comelec has also warned that a reenacted budget may leave teachers on poll duty for the midterm election without pay.