Budget signed after Holy Week?

April 11, 2019
Rodrigo Duterte

THE proposed P3.7 trillion national budget for 2019 may be signed by President Duterte after the Holy Week since the measure is still under review, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the ceremonial signing of the 2019 budget proposal has been “calendared” on the President’s schedule on April 15, Monday, but it was removed from his activities for that day.

“Pinag-aaralan niya. Kinalendar na pero mukhang pinag-aaralan pa. Baka after Holy Week (He’s still studying it. It has been calendared but it looks like it is still being reviewed. Maybe after Holy Week),” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.

Asked about the chances of the signing after the Holy Week break, Panelo said: “Mataas ang probability kasi naka-schedule na this week. Baka may pinag-aaralan pa (The probability is high because it was scheduled this week. It might be still under review).”

Panelo, however, made clear that the President’s schedule could still change anytime.

“Naka-calendar tapos tinanggal sa calendar e di pwede rin ibalik di ba. Lahat ng schedule nya subject to change without prior notice,” he added.

The proposed national budget has been under review by the Office of the President and the Department of Budget and Management since it was transmitted by Congress last month.

The approval of the new spending plan was delayed for months after the two houses of Congress were locked in an impasse over alleged irregular realignments, including post-ratification changes.

Last Wednesday, Malacañang confirmed that the ceremonial signing of the General Appropriations Act 2019 has been calendared in the President’s schedule this coming Monday.

Panelo said the 2019 national budget would help bankroll the government’s projects on infrastructure development as well as poverty alleviation, and strategies to keep peace and order in the country.

He also extended the Palace’s gratitude to the lawmakers for the passage of the budget bill.

“We thank the men and women of the Senate and the House of Representatives for supporting this Administration’s endeavors in pursuing a path towards the President’s vision of a prosperous and high-income economy under a secure and peaceful nation where all Filipinos can experience a dignified and comfortable life,” he said.