The next Congress must pass the 2020 budget without delay, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said Sunday.
He said the next Congress must avoid a repeat of such delay, just like what happened in the “costly” 2019 budget crisis.
“When the government sneezes, the economy catches a cold,” said Campos, a deputy minority leader.
“When the biggest consumer―the national government―is unable to spend dynamically due to a deferred budget, the entire economy suffers.”
Campos said the next Congress, if it wanted to, could pass the 2020 budget by the last week of November or the first week of December.
“Budget delays are extremely harmful. We had that foul episode in Makati, wherein obstructionist city councilors nastily held hostage and then sabotaged the passage of this year’s local budget, he said.
“Makati residents were deprived of improved public services, social benefits and development projects.”
Malacañang is expected to submit the proposed General Appropriations Act for 2020 to the House of Representatives within 30 days from the opening of the regular session on July 22.
The four-month congressional “holdup” in the passage of the 2019 budget contributed in a big way to the slower-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter, according to the Makati City lawmaker.
The delay was due to bicameral bickering over the controversial pork barrel allocations.
The President signed into law the P3.7-trillion budget for 2019 only on April 15.
The budget crisis also delayed the payout of the last installment of the salary increase for 1.3-million government employees, which “to some degree dampened consumer spending,” Campos said.