Palace expresses “alarm” over House’s move to suspend budget briefings indefinitely

(Eagle News) — The Palace said it was “alarmed” over the House of Representatives’ “resistance” to the passage of a 2019 budget.

“Kaunaunahang pagkakataon to na ang House majority, sila humaharang ng budget. Parang nabaliktad na,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“It’s harsh words..We are completely shocked at resistance of House because we were confident that when there was a change of leadership, we would still be close allies,” he added.

Even then, Roque said the Palace was “not scared of a reenacted budget.”

“But what will happen to (legislators’) pet projects? I don’t think they want that,” Roque added.

Over the weekend, House committee on appropriations chairman Karlo Nograles said budget briefings in the Lower Congress have been suspended “until further notice.”

Asked about the reason behind the suspension, Nograles said “It’s the decision of the House.”

Pressed if the move was because of issues surrounding the cash-based budget system, he said it was “to be consistent with the position of the House to oppose cash-based budgeting,” which they said led to “budget cuts” in the proposed budget for key government agencies under the P3.757-trillion general appropriation.

In an annual cash-based budget, contracts intended to be implemented for the fiscal year should be fully delivered by the end of the year.

A multi-year obligation-based budgeting system, on the other hand, allows the government to enter into a contract or “obligate funds” without requiring the actual delivery of goods and services within the year.

“And since we will revert to obligation-based budgeting we will give time to the DBCC (Development Budget Coordination Committee) to make the necessary changes,” Nograles said. With PIA