Duterte orders adoption of cash-based budgeting system

Robie de Guzman   •   September 12, 2019   •   346

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the adoption of a cash-based budgeting system beginning this year in a bid to improve the fiscal planning of government agencies.

Under Executive Order No. 91, which was signed on Sept. 9 and made public on Sept. 12, Duterte directed government agencies to shift to a new system from the current obligation budgeting system.

“There is a need to improve the fiscal planning of government agencies through the implementation of an operational cash budget and by setting deadlines for obligation of funds and execution of projects during the fiscal year, in order to speed up the implementation of programs and to promptly deliver goods and services to our people,” Duterte said.

The order states that all authorized appropriations can only be used until the end of each fiscal year while payments for obligations incurred shall be made three months after the end of the validity of appropriations.

Any unreleased appropriations and unobligated allotments as well as unpaid obligations at the end of the year should be returned to the National Treasury and will not be available for expenditure, except by subsequent legislative enactment.

Financial subsidies appropriated to local government units, meanwhile, will be reverted to the National Treasury after the end of the succeeding fiscal year.

Moreover, projects with an implementation period exceeding 12 months shall require a multi-year contractual authority (MYCA) from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) before their procurement, the order said.

The MYCA may also be issued for single-year procurement projects, or those with an implementation period of 12 months or less that are either research or scientific in nature.

The contractual authority shall cover the full project cost and will be the basis of the approved budget for the contract.

The government had long been operating on obligations-based budget which allowed agencies to spend funds even after the year ends.

The DBM previously attempted to shift to a cash-based budget for 2019 but this was thumbed down by Congress.

Duterte, however, insisted the new system believing that this will help ensure the speedy implementation of programs and delivery of services to the public.

Duterte warns against online scammers

Marje Pelayo   •   June 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has warned the public against online scammers at this time of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The President, in particular, mentioned those who are using social media and other Internet websites to sell face masks.

“Be careful. Lokohan ito ngayon [Scams are rampant nowadays],” he said.

“Huwag kayong bumili ng online-online lalo na magpadala kayo ng pera[Do not buy online when you are asked to send money]. Do not fall for that thing. It has never been perfected and all the scams that man could think of that they can perpetrate on the innocent public, pinag-aaralan nila yan [they plan for it],” he added.

The demand for face masks is high at present as wearing it has become mandatory when going outdoors as protection against COVID-19 infection. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Senate OKs bill giving Duterte power to delay class opening during public crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   June 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to grant President Rodrigo Duterte ‘flexibility’ to schedule the opening of classes in schools during a state of emergency.

Voting 23-0, senators on Monday unanimously passed Senate Bill 1541, which proposes to amend Section 3 of the Republic Act 7797, a law which sets the opening of school-year as early as the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.

The measure covers all basic education schools, including foreign or international schools in the country.

Once enacted into law, the bill would authorize the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Department of Education, to set the opening of classes nationwide or in selected areas at any date during a state of emergency or calamity.

A similar measure has been approved in the committee level in the House of Representatives on Saturday.

The approval of the proposed measure comes amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which has affected millions of people worldwide. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Duterte certifies as urgent bill seeking to toughen PH anti-terror law

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a bill that seeks to strengthen the country’s anti-terrorism law.

In a letter to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday, Duterte certified as urgent House Bill No. 6785, which seeks to amend and toughen the Human Security Act of 2007.

In his letter, Duterte said the immediate enactment of the measure is to “address the urgent need to strengthen the law on anti-terrorism in order to adequately and effectively contain the menace of terrorist acts for the preservation of national security and the promotion of general welfare.”

The House Bill reportedly adopted the Senate version which passed on third and final reading in February.

Under the bill, anyone who threatens to commit terrorism, propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism shall mete out a penalty of 12 years of imprisonment.

It also introduces provisions penalizing those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.

The measure also includes a new section on foreign terrorist fighters to cover Filipino nationals who commit terrorist offenses abroad.

It also aims to provide law enforcers the much-needed tools to protect the people from terrorism threat and, at the same time, safeguard the rights of those accused of the crime.

Once a bill is certified as urgent, the Senate and the House of Representatives can immediately pass a measure on second and third reading on the same day.

Rights advocates had earlier warned that the bill’s enactment would worsen the human rights situation in the country.

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