MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the long-delayed P3.7 trillion national budget on Monday, April 15, Malacañang said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the ceremonial signing of the General Appropriations Act 2019 "has already been calendared on the President’s schedule on April 15, Monday."
"This year’s National Budget – our third under the Duterte Administration – is a continuation of our narrative of genuine change and meaningful progress through, among others, our intensified infrastructure development programs, expanded policies on human development and poverty reduction, as well as strategies in advancing the peace and order situation of the country," Panelo said.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said the President may sign the budget ahead of the Holy Week break.
The signing of the 2019 General Appropriations Act is seen to end months of impasse that threatens to slow the country’s economic growth.
Government has been running on a reenacted 2018 budget since January.
Budget deliberations have long been delayed by wrangling among lawmakers over alleged insertions in the 2019 national spending plan.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, in signing the 2019 budget, urged the President to veto parts of the spending plan that he finds “unconstitutional.”
Nograles earlier said the government would catch up on big-ticket infrastructure projects once the budget is signed.