By LLANESCA T. PANTI, August 8 2018; The Manila Times


Image Credit to House of Representatives

THE House of Representatives rejected the proposed P3.7 trillion budget for 2019, which introduces a system requiring government agencies to spend all of its obligated funding within the year or lose it.

Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. of Camarines Sur made the announcement during a hastily called caucus on Wednesday as lawmakers raised concerns that the budget cuts would deprive their respective districts of resources.

“There’s a common perception that this will reduce the allocation for the districts. All of us, [from the]majority, minority, non-majority bloc, are in agreement that we will make representations with DBM (Department of Budget and Management) first before we proceed [on deliberating the budget],” Andaya said in a chance interview.

The proposed 2019 budget is P10 billion less than 2018 and reduced the allocations for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), by P95 billion; Department of Health (DOH), P35 billion; and Department of Education, P77 billion.

“This will be the first time that we have this cash-based budget, so there are a lot of uncertainties. The decision of the [House] members [on what course to take next]will be affected if we don’t get a clear answer from DBM,” said Andaya, who served as Budget chief under president-now-Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

House Appropriations panel Chairman Karlo Nograles of Davao City called out the DBM over the massive budget cuts under the proposed cash-based budget.

“It would be hard for us to explain to our constituents why are we having a reduced budget because this will mean reduced classrooms, barangay health units and roads just because of this cash-based system,” Nograles said in a separate statement.