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Legarda: Extending Availability of 2018 Budget Responds to the People’s Needs

January 6, 2019

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the President’s approval of the Joint Resolution extending the availability of the 2018 national budget will help respond to the needs of the people, especially those affected by calamities.

Joint Resolution No. 3, “Extending the Availability of the 2018 Appropriations for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and Capital Outlay (CO) to December 31, 2019, Amending for the Purpose Section 61 of the General Provisions of Republic Act No. 10964, The General Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2018,” was approved by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on December 28, 2018.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance and sponsor of the measure in the Senate, said that the Joint Resolution allows for the continued use of the 2018 budget until end of 2019 to service more people and communities in need instead of just allowing the fund to be reverted to the unappropriated surplus of the general fund.

The Senator noted that the onslaught of several devastating calamities, such as typhoons Rosita and Ompong, as well as the effects of the southwest monsoons, destroyed vital infrastructure and affected the delivery of basic services to the affected communities.

“There were appropriations that have not been released and allotment issued that have not been obligated, which would have reverted to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund after December 31, 2018. But with the President’s signing of the Joint Resolution, agencies will be able to use what remains of the 2018 budget to fund priority projects as well as for aid and relief activities, and maintenance, construction/repair and rehabilitation of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and other essential facilities of the national government,” said Legarda.

In previous years, Congress has passed Joint Resolutions with the same nature. In 2002, Congress approved the extension of availability of 2002 appropriations for MOOE. In 2013, availability of 2013 appropriations for MOOE, CO, Calamity Fund and Quick Response Fund were extended as well.