Palace unruffled by scrapping of P75-B 'budget insertion'

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, January 15, said it was not worried about the Senate's move to delete the P75 billion allegedly "inserted" into the proposed 2019 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace respects the Senate's decision.

"That is the job of Congress to amend. Kung ginawa nila 'yun (If they did that), they're doing their job," Panelo told reporters when sought for reaction in a Palace briefing.

During the plenary deliberation on the DPWH's budget held Monday, the senators agreed to delete the P75-billion increase in the agency's controversial budget.

The DPWH initially asked for a P480-billion budget for 2019. Its budget was later raised to P555 billion, with the addition of P75 billion worth of infrastructure projects.

Before the Christmas break, Congress failed to approve the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for this year following the supposed "insertions" made by the Department of Budget and Management.

The national government is currently operating under a reenacted budget.

Panelo was confident that the removal of the DPWH's additional budget would not affect the government's key infrastructure projects.

He said the executive can be "very creative," noting that it can ask for a supplemental budget for the implementation of the Duterte administration's infrastructure projects once the proposed 2019 budget is approved.

"There are many ways. The executive is very creative, as well as Congress. Tignan natin (Let's see)," he said.

"Well, kung kulang, pwede namang mag-dagdag ng supplemental budget. Pwede naman 'yun. Pwede lahat 'yun kung gusto. Basta for the good of the country, dapat every branch of the government should cooperate," he added.

(Well, if it's not enough, we can ask for a supplemental budget. That's allowed. That can be done if necessary. If it's for the good of the country, every branch of the government should cooperate.) (SunStar Philippines)


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