Press Release
August 14, 2018

Drilon calls on Congress to resume budget delibs, prevent reenacted budget

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Tuesday called the suspension of budget deliberations and talks of a reenacted budget "foolish and counter-productive," saying it will only make the President appear weak for being unable to pass his own budget despite having a supermajority in Congress.

Drilon said that the House of Representatives' plan to return the proposed 2019 national budget to the executive "has never been done before," said Drilon, adding that he is not aware of any procedure that would allow that.

"Therefore, I urge both houses of Congress to resume deliberations of the budget because it is our constitutional duty to enact an annual budget. We cannot and we should not allow a reenacted budget, most particularly in an election year," Drilon stressed.

"So, stop these foolish talks of a reenacted budget. It's not a good practice and it will not lead us anywhere," Drilon said. "It will prejudice every Juan Dela Cruz and it will be detrimental to the economy and the implementation of crucial laws such as the Bangsamoro Organic Law."

"A reenacted budget is bad for the country and will reflect badly on the President as it will make him appear weak," Drilon said.

If the budget is reenacted, Drilon said the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law will be affected "because we will not be able to give to the Bangsamoro government additional funding necessary for its development, including the block grant amounting to approximately P60 billion to P70 billion."

On top of the block grant, Drilon noted the landmark law requires additional funding such as P5 billion development fund annually for a period of 10 years, P7.2 billion for retirement benefits of employees who will be affected by the transition, and P1 billion during the transition, among others.

Drilon also said a reenacted budget will affect the economy, underscoringthat government expenditure accounts for about 20 percent of the economy.

"If the government operates under a reenacted budget, then there can be no new programs and projects in 2019 to help pump prime the economy because there will be no capital outlay," Drilon noted.

Drilon also said that a reenacted budget will be detrimental to government employees who are set to receive their fourth tranche of salary increase next year.

"If we have a reenacted budget, then goodbye to the salary increase for teachers, nurses, and the rest of the government workforce," said Drilon, adding that when budget is not passed on time, the salary increase that can help them cope with inflation would be delayed.

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