MANILA- The signing of the P3.7 trillion national budget for this year may happen after the Holy Week, contrary to an earlier announcement from Malacañang.
The national spending plan is still being studied by President Rodrigo Duterte, according to his spokesperson, Salvador Panelo.
“Kinalendar na pero mukhang pinag-aaralan pa eh...baka after Holy Week,” he told reporters.
(The budget signing has been calendared already but it seems that it is still being studied, so maybe it will be signed after the Holy Week.)
The Palace initially scheduled the ceremonial signing of the budget on Monday, April 15.
“Naka-calendar tapos tinanggal sa calendar, pwede ibalik,” Panelo said.
(It was calendared and then removed but it may still push through.)
The delay in the passage of the 2019 national budget threatens to slow the country’s economic growth with the government running on a reenacted 2018 budget since the start of the year.
Last month, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Erneso Pernia warned that economic growth could slow to 4.2 percent from 4.9 percent if a reenacted budget is implemented for the entire year.
Budget deliberations have long been delayed by wrangling among lawmakers over alleged insertions in the 2019 national spending plan.