Duterte set to sign 2020 budget today

January 05, 2020
Rodrigo Roa Duterte

THE signing into law of the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget by President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte today will help create a much better economy and make  life  for Filipinos by hitting “A” credit rating before he steps down from power in 2022.

House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who chairs the powerful House Committee on Rules, said the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who got a record high approval rating of 80 percent and 76 trust rating in the December Pulse Asia survey, has been doing its very best to push President Duterte’s reforms.

“The President has been working hard to make a comfortable life for Filipinos. The economic growth is attributed to the sound economic policy of President Duterte who has been pursuing structural reforms needed to guarantee the country’s economic takeoff,” said Romualdez, recalling that the surging economy earned the Philippines an upgrade to BBB+, the country’s highest credit rating in history from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P).

“We are notch away from ‘A’ territory rating after a vote of confidence by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), upgrading the country’s credit rating from ‘BBB’ to ‘BBB+’ with a stable outlook because of the robust economic growth,” said Romualdez, a former bank executive.

The country’s economy measured by the gross domestic product (GDP) posted 6.2 percent growth in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the 5.5 percent GDP growth in the second quarter and six percent in the third quarter of 2018.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga, Jr., president of the National Unity Party (NUP), also shared the overwhelming sentiment of his colleagues in the House of Representatives that the national budget “guarantees a better and more comfortable life for most Filipinos.”

“Our new budget for this year has been designed to support a very strong, sustainable, and equitable growth to be felt by ordinary Filipinos and appropriations that will make the country more inclusive than what it was the year before,” said Barzaga, who chairs the House Committee on National Resources.

Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon said “it is worthy to note that the 2020 budget appropriates funds for programs and projects in accordance with a clearly-defined roadmap for peace and progress.

“Another good thing is that President Duterte values transparency and accountability in the disbursement of public funds,” said Lagon who also commended the Cayetano-Romualdez leadership for working hard on the passage of bills aimed at pursuing economic reforms.

“This is a big boost to our desire for more foreign and domestic investments in the country to create more jobs and ensure development in the countryside. We will continue to support President Duterte’s efforts in pursuing structural reforms needed to ensure higher economic growth,” said Lagon, whose party-list is allied with the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) of which Romualdez is the President.

Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said the national budget will result in more a equitable distribution of projects among district and party-list representatives as they have been consulted on the matter.

“With competing demands over limited public resources, we looked at how the appropriations were strategically distributed across sectors, agency programs and geographic subdivisions having approved a constitutionally compliant budget,” said Abu.

Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, said the signing of the national budget would guarantee the continuity of various important government projects that is crucial to the economy and livelihood of Filipinos.