A JOINT resolution has been filed in the Senate seeking to extend the availability of 2018 appropriations for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlays (CO) to another year.
Senate Joint Resolution No. 17 was filed on Nov. 26 by Senator Loren B. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance. It was filed on the same day its counterpart measure in the House of Representatives was passed on third and final reading.
It seeks to extend the 2018 appropriations for another fiscal year or until Dec. 31, 2019.
The joint resolution stated that the MOOE and CO appropriations were needed for the next year in order “to fund priority projects, aid and relief activities as well as the maintenance, construction/repair and rehabilitation of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and other essential facilities of national government.”
It took note of the typhoons and flooding affecting a number of regions in Luzon and Mindanao.
The devastation brought about by typhoons Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) in September and Rosita (international name: Yutu) in October has hampered the government’s delivery of basic services to the affected communities, it added.
Under Section 61 of the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA), the release of the MOOE and CO funds is authorized until Dec. 31, 2018 only.
However, the resolution noted that some appropriations have not been released and obligated. This may then result to the automatic reversion of the appropriations to the General Fund, which could have been used to fund relief and rehabilitation projects.
“It is clearly imperative that Section 61 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 10964 should be amended such that the validity of the MOOE and CO appropriations shall be extended for another fiscal year for the benefit of the people and for the welfare of the nation,” the joint resolution read.
It also said Congress has made the similar joint resolutions in 2002 and 2013. In the GAAs for 2014 to 2017, the appropriations were available for release and obligation for a two-year period. — Camille A. Aguinaldo