House suspends 2019 budget deliberations to oppose cash-based system

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 11) — The House of Representatives has indefinitely suspended deliberations of 2019 national budget, pushing for reversion to the old budgeting system. 

House committee on appropriations head, Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles said that the suspension is due to the opposition of the House against the proposed cash-based system of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).

"And since we will revert to obligation-based budgeting, we will give time to DBCC to make the necessary changes," Nograles told reporters.

On Thursday, members of both the majority and minority blocs of the House of Representatives opposed the cash-based system.

Nograles argued that the new system, which would only allot resources for projects that could be initiated and finished within the year, will greatly lower capital or infrastructure spending of government agencies.

"Mababawasan (ang) mga classroom buildings, mababawasan (ang) health facilities, mababawasan (ang) irrigation projects, mababawasan ang kahit mga new buildings and facilities ng SUCs (State Universities and Colleges), mababawasan ang roads and bridges," Nograles said.

[Translation:The number of classroom buildings, health facilities, irrigation projects, even new buildings and facilities of SUCs, roads and bridges will all be reduced.]

On the other hand, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) proposed the new cash-based system to hasten the delivery of government projects.

"This shift is expected to quicken program delivery, as well as strengthen the focus and accountability of government as target outputs of government programs become more clearly linked to their appropriated budget," the DBM said in July.