Duterte inks 2019 national budget

MANILA. President Rodrigo Duterte. (SunStar File)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed the much-delayed P3.757 trillion national budget, which has been in deadlock for months due to supposed insertions and realignments made by some lawmakers.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed this in a text message to reporters on Monday, April 15.

The signing came four days after the President announced that he might veto the "entire" 2019 budget bill, if he finds any irregularities in its provisions.

Medialdea said the President vetoed the P95.3 billion worth of budget allocated for the programs under the Department of Public Works and Highways, reasoning that such items are "not part of the President's priority projects."

"The President, among others, vetoed P95.3 billion items of appropriations in the details of DPWH programs/projects, which are not within the programmed priorities," the executive secretary said.

Palace has yet to release a copy of and provide further details about the 2019 General Appropriations Act.

The National Government has been forced to run under a reenacted 2018 budget since January this year, after Congress failed to approve the 2019 budget bill in December last year.

The proposed budget for 2019 was only transmitted to Duterte on March 16, after the Senate and the House of Representatives ended squabble over supposed insertions and realignments. (SunStar Philippines)


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