Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Abad Thanks Congress for Early Ratification of 2011 Reform Budget; Says President Could Sign Spending Law Earlier than December 30

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad yesterday lauded the House of Representatives and the Senate for the early ratification of the proposed P1.645-trillion national budget for 2011, allowing the President to sign it into law before the year ends.

“Our legislators’ diligence and sense of duty made it possible for them to ratify the proposed 2011 Reform Budget as scheduled. The best way to express our gratitude to them is to fulfil our part, which is to have the President sign it into law on or even before December 30,” he said. 

“Ang bagong uso ngayon ay maagang naisasabatas ang pambansang budget. Iwinawaksi natin ang masalimuot at balot-sa-dilim na kalakaran ng pagre-reenact (The new trend now is the early enactment of national budgets. We are shunning the convoluted and shadowy practice of re-enacted budgets),” he stressed. 

Secretary Abad stressed that the 2011 Reform Budget paves the way for the succeeding national budgets to be enacted on time. The 2011 spending plan will be the first budget since the 1999 national budget that is signed into law before the fiscal year starts. Once the Executive receives the enrolled 2011 General Appropriations Bill shortly after it is ratified, it will take at least ten days for the Department of Budget and Management to peruse the Congress-approved budget, prepare a budget affirmation or veto message, if warranted, and print the budget for signing by the President into law. 

He stressed that this early enactment is not merely a temporal matter, for it allows the Aquino administration to have a good and early start in implementing its priority programs in poverty reduction and human development. 

He said it is possible now to frontload the implementation of government infrastructure programs to take advantage of good weather in the first semester. He added that efforts to institute transparency and accountability in public expenditure management are bolstered by this development. 

“Congress did not only agree with our proposed spending levels for conditional cash transfers, basic education and maternal and child healthcare. They also supported our proposed measures to shed daylight in the disbursement of public funds,” he said. 

“The 2011 national budget is the first financial blueprint of the Aquino administration. And we thank Congress for helping us have a spending program that is in line with fulfilling the promise of ‘kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,’” he stressed.

(Source: DBM Press Release, Wednesday, December 15, 2010)

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