MANILA - Malacañang on Monday called on Congress to pass the national budget for 2019 as soon as possible, saying further delays in its approval will affect government projects.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said delays in the approval of the 2019 budget will also affect the release of funds for the salary hike of government personnel.
President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the validity of the 2018 budget after Congress failed to pass the 2019 General Appropriations Act before it adjourned for the holidays last year.
A timetable earlier released by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri showed that the 2019 budget may not be signed by congressional leaders until February 7.
Panelo noted that the President submitted the proposed 2019 budget to Congress during his State of the Nation Address in July last year.
“Further unreasonable delay on the part of Congress to approve the General Appropriation Bill that will throw a monkey wrench on the program of the administration will be unacceptable to the sovereign people that placed them in office,” Panelo said in a statement.
“It behooves members of Congress to steer off partisan considerations and sweep away the indifference to the plight of the citizenry and collectively focus their attention to pass the General Appropriation Bill into law for the service of the people that they have sworn to protect.”