Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mendoza: On 2018 budget

The Scribe’s Corner

FOR the Department of Education, all remaining 2018 MOOE and CO of schools, DOs, ROs and program funds at Central Office shall remain valid until Dec 31, 2019. This is the result of the joint resolution approved by congress and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte extending for one year the availability of the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and for capital outlay under the 2018 national budget.

It could be remembered that the House voted for its extension on the joint resolution on November 27, 2018, while the Senate had its approval on December 3, 2018.

The information was first revealed by House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. in a House hearing at Naga City on Thursday, January 3, that the President already signed Joint Resolution 3. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea also confirmed that President Duterte signed the document on December 28, 2018.

With the said development Joint Resolution 3 extends the validity of the MOEE and capital outlay funds under the P3.767 trillion 2018 budget to December 31, 2019 prompting the unused funds not to go back to the National Treasury.

The excerpt of the resolution runs as follows: “Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate of the Philippines voting separately, to extend the validity and period of availability of the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations for maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlays to December 31, 2019, amending for the purpose Section 61 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 10964, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2018”.

Consequently, President Duterte cited the need for funds to rehabilitate regions still suffering from the aftermath of several calamities like Typhoons Rosita and Ompong, flash floods, and flooding incidents caused by the southwest monsoon and ensures that funds for ongoing rehabilitation efforts – like the allocations for rebuilding war-torn Marawi City – can still be used legally by the government beyond December 31, 2018.

In another development, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) headed by Secretary Benjamin Diokno revealed it would oversee the requirements of the national government as it runs on a reenacted budget to minimize its negative impact on the economy.

Diokno, in a statement said that reenacted budget will presumably last for the first quarter of 2019 as a result of the Lawmakers failure to pass the budget in time due to questions over alleged insertions.

Circular Letter No. 2019-1 that contains the guidelines for fund releases under the reenacted budget and signed by Diokno on the first working day of the year is a measure to minimize the damage to the Philippine economy, particularly public construction. The guidelines which will cover the release of funds in the first quarter of 2019 in anticipation of the passage of the General Appropriations Act 2019 (GAA 2019) will be enforced until the GAA 2019 is passed into law by the Congress.

It coincides with the information that the proposed P3.75 trillion 2019 national budget is unlikely to be signed until February 7 as revealed by the Senate's "tentative calendar" released by Senate Majority Floor Leader Miguel Zubiri.

Earlier DBM said that with a recycled budget, government employees will not yet receive their increased pay under the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) but will receive the lumpsum amount after the GAA 2019 will be approved not later than March, 2019.

This corner hopes that everything will be in order the earliest possible time so that the benefits of 2019 budget will still be higher than the negative effects of reenacted budget.


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