Palace: Duterte may sign 2021 budget before Christmas

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2020 06:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 15 2020 06:44 PM

Palace: Duterte may sign 2021 budget before Christmas 1
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a message in Trece Martires City, Cavite on Dec. 3, 2020. Rey Baniquet, Presidential Photo/File

 MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte might sign before Christmas the 2021 national budget that includes funds to address the COVID-19 pandemic, Malacañang said on Monday, as it dismissed worries over a re-enacted spending plan. 

The Palace has not yet received a copy of the ratified budget as of 12 noon. But the budget department is studying an advance copy for items that the President might veto, said his spokesman Harry Roque. 

"Ibig sabihin, hindi po tayo maaantala dun sa pag-aaral… At inaasahan pa rin natin na mapipirmahan po ang budget, para maging epektebo sa a-uno ng Enero," he said in an online press briefing. 

(That means that we won't be delayed in the study. And we expect that the budget will be signed so that it can be effective on Jan. 1)

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Under the law, the annual budget expires at the end of the year. If a new spending plan is not passed before then, the government will have to rely on a re-enacted 2020 budget that cannot fund all programs meant to address the pandemic. 

Congress should submit the spending plan to Duterte in early December, Malacañang earlier said.

"Kung paisa-submit nga kung kailan ipinangako ng Kongreso ang budget, hindi naman po aabot ng Pasko at mapipirmahan na ‘yan ng Presidente," said Roque. 

(If the budget is submitted according to the Congress' promise, the President will sign that before Christmas.)

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