Reenacted budget to hurt PH's higher growth hopes: Palace

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2019 12:08 PM

Reenacted budget to hurt PH's higher growth hopes: Palace 1
Construction cranes cap some buildings in Metro Manila. A possible reenacted budget could hurt the country's chances for higher growth this year, Malacanang said. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- The Philippine economy's chance to grow at a faster pace could be set back should government operate on a reenacted budget this year, Malacañang said Thursday.

Gross domestic product growth this year could be reduced by 1 to 2.3 percentage points, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. Economic managers are targeting at least 7 percent after the 6.2-percent expansion in 2018.

"The ordinary Filipino would be the one greatly affected as there would be fewer openings of employment for him or her, not to mention lesser work productivity for those employed as a result of delays in the completion of badly needed transport and road network," Panelo said.

"Programs of various departments this year intended for poverty reduction, health promotion, and peace and security advancement, to mention a few, would be inevitably affected as well," he said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday he would propose that the Senate withdraw its version of the 2019 General Appropriations Act, paving the way for a reenacted budget.

Sotto cited "numerous allegations" surrounding the 2019 budget proposal, without referring to House appropriations committee chairman Rolando Andaya's claim that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno inserted some P75 billion.

Andaya, appealed to the Senate not to abandon bicameral hearings on the budget. The House is against a reenacted budget, he said.