Malacañang on Thursday described a reenacted budget for the entire 2019 as “lost opportunities for higher economic growth.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this reaction after Senate President Vicente Sotto III proposed on Wednesday to withdraw the Senate-approved General Appropriation Bill (GAB) and go for a reenacted budget.
“A reenacted budget as a result of a budget impasse would hurt our economy. This would translate to lost opportunities for higher growth as our economic managers are estimating a loss of 1 to 2.3 percentage points in the full-year gross domestic product in the event that the 2019 budget will not be passed,” Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo pointed out that a reenacted budget would also affect the government’s” Build, Build, Build” infrastructure projects which are in various stages of implementation.
He said programs of various departments this year intended for poverty reduction, health promotion, and peace and security advancement would also be affected.
Moreover, he said delays in the completion of transport and road networks would also mean fewer job openings for Filipinos.
“The ordinary Filipino would be the one greatly affected as there would be fewer openings of employment for him or her, not to mention lesser work productivity for those employed as a result of delays in the completion of badly needed transport and road network,” Panelo said.
Panelo, meanwhile, said Congress must realize “dire consequences” of a reenacted budget as he urged lawmakers to immediately pass the GAB.
“The honorable members of Congress know of the dire consequences of a reenacted budget and we are appreciative of the statement made by some members of the bilateral committee that it will endeavor to pass the General Appropriations Bill next week,” Panelo said.
“The Executive Branch has already done its part in the budgeting process, we eagerly await Congress to complete the process, so are the Filipino people,” he added.
Since January 1 this year, the government has been operating under a reenacted budget after Congress failed to pass the 2019 national budget on time due to allegations of “pork” insertions.
Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate finance committee, said she would take into consideration Sotto’s reenacted budget proposal.
“Upon consultation with the Senate leadership and with the Executive Department, I will take into consideration the statement of Senate President Sotto, as I lead the Senate panel in meeting with our House counterpart later today (Wednesday),” Legarda said. (PNA)
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