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MINORITY TO WORK FOR ‘ON-TIME, ON-TARGET’ NATIONAL BUDGET — ABANTE

Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Rep. Benny Abante Jr. said members of the Minority were committed to work with the Majority in hammering out a national budget that will be passed “on time and on target,” this as the House of Representatives received the proposed 4.1 trillion-peso 2020 national budget.

“Like our colleagues in the Majority, we are ready to work overtime if necessary to ensure that the national budget is passed on time. We all recognize the importance of finishing the budget deliberations in a timely manner, and acknowledge that cooperation is needed from both sides of the aisle to accomplish this,” said the lawmaker.

“We have to make sure that the funds allocated for specific purposes, for particular programs, will be able to accomplish their objectives.”

Economists have attributed the sluggishness of the economy to the delayed passage of the 2019 national budget. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country recorded GDP growth rates of 5.6% and 5.5% in the first and second quarters of 2019, respectively; these are both below the government’s initial  6%-7% targets.

Abante reiterated that the Minority “will collaborate closely with our counterparts in the Majority so that we can meet the October target set by the Speaker.”

“Let me stress, however, that aside from making sure that the budget is passed on time, it must also be on target––meaning that we have to make sure that the funds allocated for specific purposes, for particular programs, will be able to accomplish their objectives,” said the solon.

“We will objectively evaluate, assess, and scrutinize the national budget to ensure that the 4.1 trillion pesos are put to good use.”

“It is with this in mind that we Minority members will exercise our duties as fiscalizers. What we have is a record-setting amount of funds meant to improve the lives of over 100 million Filipinos. We will objectively evaluate, assess, and scrutinize the national budget to ensure that the 4.1 trillion pesos are put to good use.”

According to Abante, the Minority shares the Majority’s desire to avoid delays in budget deliberations, and that efforts would be made to discourage members of the House from “grandstanding” or showing off.

“We appreciate the initiatives of the Majority Leader and House leadership to institute measures to speed up the budget deliberations. As long as these are guided by the principles of transparency and fairness, we believe the budget process will proceed smoothly and will result in a national budget that benefits our country and all our constituents.”

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