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New budget system bucked

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Top Stories
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Featured New budget system bucked

ALL members of the House of Representatives are against the cash-based system of budgeting and spending being pushed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

This was according to Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. who said one of the concerns of the lawmakers is that the system could deprive congressional districts of needed funds.

Because of this, Andaya said they (majority, minority and independent solons) want to make representations with the DBM first before deliberating on the 2019 budget.

The budget has always been “obligation-based,” meaning agencies can retain their budget for finished or unfinished projects at the end of the year.

Cash-based system means agencies must spend the approved budget for the projects within the year or they will not get it anymore the following year.

As a first step to objecting to this system, a House Resolution requesting the Senate to return to the House the budget reform bill is circulating.

This is an indirect way of telling Malacanang that the congressmen don’t agree with the new system.

House appropriations committee chair Rep. Karlo Nograles confirmed the resolution which was initially authored by him, Andaya and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda.

“Magiging implikasyon din po nitong pagbawi sa budget reform bill ay ‘yung hindi pagsusuporta sa cash-based budgeting for 2019,” Nograles said in an interview on the sidelines of the budget hearing.

Earlier, Nograles already condemned the cash-based budgeting system of the DBM, which resulted in the slashed budgets of some key agencies.

“Napagkasunduan ng myembro ng kamara na bawiin ang suporta sa budget reform bill at… irecall ang budget reform bill sa Senado para tuluyang pag-aralan muli ng House of Representatives,” Nograles added.

The Budget Reform Bill which was already transmitted to the Senate states the  institutionalization of the cash-based budgeting system.

The Resolution reads “Resolution Requesting the Senate of the Congress of the Philippines to Return House Bill 730, entitled “An Act to Reform the Budget Process by Enforcing Greater Accountability in Public Financial Management (PFM), Promoting Fiscal Sustainability, Strengthening Congress Power of the Purse, Instituting An Integrated PFM System, and Increasing Budget Transparency and Participation” In Order for the House of Representatives to Introduce Further Perfecting Amendments Thereto.”

The bill was approved last March 20 and was transmitted to the Senate on March 22.

The resolution states that “there is a need for the House of Representatives to recall the engrossed copy of House Bill 7302 in order to introduce further perfecting amendments thereto.”