ALBAY REPRESENTATIVE Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda, chair of the ways and means committee, does not expect a veto on House Bill 5437, which seeks to extend the validity of the 2019 budget.

In a Viber message to reporters, Mr. Salceda said extending the validity of this year’s budget until December 31, 2020 “is well within the powers of Congress and not unconstitutional due to an Executive Order (EO)”.

Mr. Salceda also noted that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) “supported the measure in the House and Senate hearings and posed no objections and committed to abide by wisdom of Congress”.

“While 93% has been released by DBM to implementing agencies, level of obligation by agencies to suppliers are lower at roughly P230 billion,” he said.

Last Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo told reporters that the President is ready to veto the measure if it proves to be “in violation of the Constitution”.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed EO 91 last September, which directs the government to adopt a cash-based budgeting system (CBS) wherein all funds shall be made available for disbursement only until the end of each fiscal year.

Mr. Salceda said the extension of the validity of this year’s budget is “good for the economy since it considers the five months delay” in passing the 2019 General Appropriations Act. — Genshen L. Espedido