MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday said it was pleased by the Senate's move to pass on final reading the proposed PHP3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 after months of delay.
The Palace is pleased to know that the Senate has passed on third and final reading the proposed 2019 national budget, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said the Palace is particularly pleased by the Senate treating the passage of the proposed 2019 budget as urgent.
We note that our lawmakers are treating the matter as urgent as they are about to finalize the 2019 national budget in the bicameral conference committee deliberations, Panelo said.
The Senate approved the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) with 14 affirmative votes, no negative vote, and zero abstention.
The final reading approval came two months after the House approved the bill on third reading on Nov. 20, 2018.
Panelo pointed out that once the proposed 2019 budget is finalized, the Duterte administration will be able to carry out projects in its "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program.
The immediate approval of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) will jump start the implementation of new projects in 2019 and lay the groundwork for an anticipated impressive economic performance, Panelo said.
The passage of the GAB will certainly continue our march to national progress and development, he added.
At present, the government continues to operate under a reenacted budget since January 1 this year after Congress failed to pass the 2019 national budget on time due to allegations of pork insertions.
Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. alleged that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno orchestrated the insertion of PHP75 billion worth of additional funds allegedly into the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
This caused a disagreement between the executive branch and Andaya. However, the former has continued to stand by Diokno.
The Senate eventually removed the PHP75-billion insertion from the budget of the public works department upon the motion of Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Panelo, earlier said that there are many ways to push through with the administration's infrastructure projects, even after the Senate removed the additional funding. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency