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Majority of solons oppose cash-based 2019 budget – Nograles

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House Appropriations panel revealed that majority of legislators are in favor of scrapping the “cash-based” budgeting scheme in 2019 National Expenditure Program (NEP) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairman of the Committee of Appropriations said they were determined to exhort the Development and Budget Coordinating Committee of the Duterte administration to revise the proposed 2019 budget to one that is “more attuned to the situation on the ground” which is the “obligations-based” budgeting scheme.

“We will revert to an obligations-based budget. Hindi lang naman kami sa Kongreso may isyu sa cash-based budgeting, (kasi) kahit ang mga myembro ng gabinete na humarap sa amin, may mga isyu din dito,” said Nograles.

Nograles stressed that requirements of a cash-based budget simply do not reflect the realities of governance.

“Our job in Congress is to ensure the passage of a budget that is in line with the vision of the President, a budget that benefits all Filipinos, especially those in the regions,” said Nograles.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno explained that country will have more savings under a cash-based budgeting as the projected deficit for 2019 is at Php 624.4 billion or 3.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for next year under that scheme.

But Nograles countered Diokno’s projection since even with obligation-based budgeting, the government “can still maintain the same budget spending deficit.”

The Davao-based solon disclosed legislators from both the majority and minority bloc have crossed party lines and they are now preparing a resolution airing their opposition to the immediate implementation of cash based budgeting for next year.

Under draft resolution, the House of Representatives having the power on appropriations is requesting the Senate to return the House Bill 7302, or the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA) in order for the lower house to revised the NEP which submitted by DBM.