Andaya welcomes budget extension

Rodrigo Duterte

WITH the signing into law of Joint Resolution No. 3, the cash-budgeting system is now a thing of the past.

Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for signing  JR No. 3, which basically extended the life of the 2018 budget for one more year.    

“The new law effectively abandons the cash-budgeting system being pushed by the country’s economic managers,” Andaya said.

“We laud the President for this decision. We, in the House of Representatives, firmly believe that the implementation of the cash-budgeting system is premature,” the House leader added.

Lawmakers opposed the cash-budgetting system imposed by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as this will affect the services to the people.

According to Andaya, government agencies have yet to fully grasp the mechanics of implementing such a system.

Extending the life of the 2018 budget for next year means foregoing the DBM proposal of having only one expenditure program for 2019.

In effect, Andaya said, government will now have two sources of spending for Fiscal Year 2019: the 2019 budget and the savings of 2018 which could reach to about P200 billion.    

Though Secretary Diokno earlier threatened to have the resolution be vetoed, our economic managers now have no choice but to respect the President’s decision, Andaya said.    

Joint Resolution 3 sought the extension, for one year, of the availability of funds allocated for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and for capital outlay (CO) under the 2018 national budget.    

The House of Representatives gave the nod to the Joint Resolution with a vote of 194-6-0 last November 26, barely a week after the House approved the proposed P3.757-trillion budget for 2019 on 3rd and final reading.    

The HJR 3, principally authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, specifically sought to amend Section 61 of the General Provisions of Republic Act 10964 or the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2018.    

Section 61, Availability of Appropriations of 2018 GAA, states: “All appropriations authorized in the GAA shall be available for release and obligation for the purpose specified, and under the same special provisions applicable thereto, until December 31, 2018.”