Reenacted budget to slow economic growth: Pernia

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2019 01:13 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2019 03:31 PM

Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Ernesto Pernia. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Gross domestic product growth will likely slow if the Philippines continues to operate on a reenacted budget, one of President Rodrigo Duterte's economic managers said Wednesday.

From 6.2 percent in 2018, growth could slow to 4.2 to 4.9 percent if a reenacted budget is implemented the entire year, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

Growth could slow to 6.1 to 6.3 percent if the reenacted budget lasts until April and to 4.9 to 5.1 percent if it extends to August, Pernia said in a statement.

A reenacted budget will delay infrastructure projects and social services such as cash transfer and aid for public transport drivers, he said.

"We need to sustain this momentum, or even accelerate it, now with inflation rate down and within our target range," Pernia said.

"Thus we call for the immediate passage of the 2019 budget. The longer we wait, the more adverse the effect will be," he added.

Lawmakers failed to pass the 2019 national budget at the end of last year due to questions over alleged insertions in allocations for the public works department.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo called on lawmakers to "break the stalemate" and pass the budget.

"We assure the nation that the administration, as we have previously stated, is prepared to cushion the impact of a reenacted budget. The delivery of public services to our countrymen will be maintained," he said.

-- with a report from Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News