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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, January 9, 2019
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Reenacted budget no ‘excuse’
for delay in pay hike – solon


MANILA – House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. yesterday said a reenacted budget is not an excuse to stop the implementation of salary increases of government employees for 2019.

Andaya said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has all the tools to push through with the salary increases this year.

"Considering the fact that the cash budget proposal this year is the same as last year, then a reenacted budget covers the needed funding for the salary increases," he said.

Andaya, appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to remind DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno to transmit to the Office of the President all the documents needed to facilitate the release of salary increase for government employees due this year.

“Sec. Diokno will be doing the country a great disservice if he fails to submit these documents to the President on time. The President needs to sign the pertinent documents in order to effect the releases by January 15," Andaya said.

"These are the same documents that the President signed last year for the first tranche of salary increases for uniformed personnel, at a time when the pay raise was still not included in the 2018 budget proposal,” he added.

The fourth and last tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) has been deferred pending the approval of the proposed PHP3.757-trillion national budget.

Diokno earlier told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that “government authorities cannot spend on items not authorized by Congress.”

He explained that the last tranche of the SSL “is part of the 2019 President’s Budget, not 2018 Budget.”

“Congress has to approve the 2019 budget before government workers can avail of the 4th tranche,” he said, pointing out that “the re-enacted budget is a second-best option provided for in the Constitution.”

The best option is the approval of the proposed allocation, Andaya added.

On Dec. 28, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a resolution extending the validity of the 2018 National Expenditure Program to Dec. 31, 2019.

Currently, the government has started operating under a reenacted budget on January 1 this year until the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is passed.

Congress failed to pass the budget bill before the end of 2018 because of allegations of “pork” insertions in the 2019 budget.

It earlier vowed to speed up the passage of the budget bill when sessions resume on January 14.*PNA


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