Duterte certifies passage of 2020 national budget as urgent
Aileen Cerrudo • September 19, 2019 • 311
President Rodrigo Duterte has certified the proposed P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget as urgent.
According to his letter dated September 17 addressed to the Senate and the House of Representatives, he wants the immediate passage of the proposed national budget to “maintain continuous government operations.”
“Ensure the budgetary preparedness that will enable the government to effectively perform its constitutional mandate,” the letter stated.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the president certified the proposed 2020 national budget as urgent to avoid a repetition of last year’s delay which affected several economic programs of the administration.
“He [Duterte] wants the members of Congress [to know] the importance of passing the budget on time to avoid a repeat of last year’s delay of its passage that wreak havoc in the economic program of the administration, and affected the delivery of basic services to the people,” he said in a statement.—AAC
The Department of Finance (DOF) reported that the government has so far spent P352 billion out of the P397 billion budget to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to DOF Secretary Sonny Dominguez, the government still has “sufficient” cash. However, it cannot be used for the COVID-19 response alone.
“Sufficient po ang cash natin pero naiipit na po tayo sa budget allowance natin. Iyan po ang problema natin ngayon, may cash tayo pero wala tayong authority na gumastos nang ganoon kalaki (Our cash is sufficient, but our budget allowance limits us. That is our current problem, we have the cash, but we don’t have the authority to spend that much),” he said.
Dominguez also reported a decline in tax collection due to the COVID-19 situation. He added that the government has already used the budget collected from these taxes.
Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved around P76 billion loan to the Philippines as additional budget for the country’s response against the COVID-19 virus.
President Rodrigo Duterte also announced the government might temporarily suspend several Build Build Build projects to allocate it for the COVID-19 response budget.
“Tanggalan ko iyan ng mga proyekto dito sa highways. Sabihin ko kay Tugade, huwag na muna iyan para makapag-ipon (I will remove projects in highways. I will tell Tugadenot to continue the projects to collect [COVID-19] funds),” he said. –AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to decide on whether to continue or modify the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine which will lapse on April 30.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said despite Monday’s discussions with health experts, congressional leaders and members of the Cabinet on the current state of the country in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the President did not give any final decision on the matter.
Roque said none of them recommended a total lockdown nor total lifting of the ECQ.
“Ang opsyon na lumabas kahapon, ipagpatuloy o hindi naman kaya i-relax, hindi naman kaya completely itigil ang ECQ sa iba’t ibang lugar ng bansa. Depende sa dami ng kaso ng COVID-19,” explained Roque.
[Among the options that were raised yesterday were either to continue, to relax or to completely lift ECQ in different parts of the country. It will depend on the number of COVID-19 cases.]
Among the personalities who attended the meeting in Malacañang were former Health Secretaries Dr. Esperanza Cabral and Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan together with public health experts Dr. Susan Mercado, Dr. Antony Leachon, and Dr. Mahar Lagmay, among others.
In the Philippines, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Metro Manila and in nearby areas like Bulacan, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (CALABARZON).
Metro cities like Cebu and Davao were also affected.
These major cities are also the country’s center of commerce and transportation, according.
Roque said the President is likely to decide once he received the complete recommendations of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 in collaboration with public health experts, and the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with the Luzon-wide ECQ. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to impose a more drastic measure particularly against violators of the government’s lockdown rules as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to climb in the country.
In his late-night address on Thursday (April 16), the President warned of military and police take over if Filipinos continue to break the government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“I am just asking for your disiplina, kasi kapag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military at police (I am just asking for your discipline because if you do not obey, the military and police will take over). I am ordering them now to be ready,” the President said addressing quarantine violators.
“Sila na, parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo (They will take over like in martial law. You decide),” he added.
The President expressed frustration over reports of residents repeatedly violating quarantine rules despite the government’s efforts in providing social relief at this time of crisis.
Nearly two weeks before the extended Luzon-wide ECQ is lifted on April 30, President Duterte said he will be compelled to order the government forces to enforce strict social distancing and curfew measures if the number of quarantine violators continue to increase.
“Ayaw ko pero kapag naipit na ang bayan at wala kayong disiplina, (I don’t want to do it but if the entire country is compromised because you lack discipline),” he warned.
The Chief Executive also directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the perpetrators of cockfighting and street drinking sessions in Metro Manila amid the ECQ.
He threatened to cut government aid to those who would further ignore ECQ measures.
“May pera pala kayong pangsabong. May pera pala kayo pang-inom. Ibigay ko na lang (sa iba,) [You have money for cockfighting. You have money for drinking sessions, so I might as well give the money [to those in need,] ” the President said.
“There’s not enough to go around. Hindi talaga magkasya. We are getting low sa supply ng pagkain na. Ilang araw na iyan buong Pilipinas pinapakain mo – 18 million families (Our supply especially of food is getting lower. We have been feeding 18 millione Filipino families for days now],” he concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.