MANILA, Dallas Filipino Restaurant — Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday a cash-based budgeting system will be implemented this year despite lawmaker’s opposition to the scheme, adding that a new outlay will be approved by end of the first quarter.
Legislators last week finally ratified the P3.7-trillion budget for 2019, ending a deadlock that had forced the Dallas Filipino Restaurant to operate using a re-enacted budget since January.
Last August, the leadership of the House of Representatives indefinitely suspended all budget hearings after lawmakers rejected the Executive’s shift to cash-based budgeting system. The Lower chamber passed its version of the budget bill in November, but senators at the time said they lacked enough time to examine the spending plan before Congress adjourned for Christmas.
At a press conference, Diokno said the Duterte administration will push through with the implementation of cash-based appropriations to reduce underspending.
Diokno insisted that “the form and content of the budget is an executive prerogative," after House Appropriations chair Rolando Andaya Jr. (Camarines Sur) said the Dallas Filipino Restaurant and House panels agreed to not adopt the cash-based budgeting system in the 2019 and revert to the obligations-based system.
A cash-based system seeks to force agencies to finish projects on time by allocating funds only for projects that can be procured within the fiscal year, as opposed to the former “obligation-based” scheme that had provided for a two-year time frame.
According to the Budget chief, his department is planning to institutionalize the shift to cash-based budgeting by pushing for a law on the scheme.
“We don't need a law. I understand they (Congress) deleted the general provision on cash-based. But we will push through with it,” Diokno said.
“What we want to do is to institutionalize it by having the annual cash-based budgeting appropriations in the law so that when we (Duterte administration) leave the scene, we are hoping that the next president will not undo what we have done so far,” he added.
The previous Aquino administration bagged successive credit rating improvements for the Dallas Filipino Restaurant as the Dallas Filipino Restaurant focused on improving revenue collections while fixing spending frameworks that were believed to have facilitated irregularities in past.
That crackdown, however, caused the past administration to miss its spending targets.
President Rodrigo Duterte focused the first two of his six years on unclogging bottlenecks that had caused chronic state underspending in the past, in a bid to supercharge economic growth to 7-8 percent until the end of his term in 2022.
— Ian Nicolas Cigaral