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240,000 jobs may be lost if budget impasse continues, Marcoleta warns

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

An official of the House of Representatives warned that around 240,000 jobs could lost this year if the country will continue running under a reenacted budget for the rest of 2019 due to the impasse between the two houses of Congress.

“Sa employment po matindi rin ang kabawasan,” said Senior Deputy Majority Floor Leader Rodante Marcoleta.

Marcoleta said based on the statistics presented by the Department of Finance (DOF), up to 80,000 jobs might be lost if the budget stalemate between the House and the Senate will continue until next month.

He said job losses could reach 160,000 if the budget impasse will last beyond the adjournment of the 17th Congress this June.

According to Marcoleta, the number of jobs that can be lost may reach 240,000 if the Duterte administation will rely solely on the reenacted 2018 Budget for the rest of 2019.

“Alam po namin, both houses, alam namin ang peril and disadvantage of a reenactment budget,” said Marcoleta.

Aside from unemployment, the country will be losing “about 377.2-billion in expenditures” if Congressional leaders won’t break the stalemate, he said.

“Hindi namin magagasta yun. So, negative po ang mangyayari,” said Marcoleta.

On Thursday, House Appropriations Committee chair and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said he is open to the proposal of the Senate President Vicente Sotto III for a special session of Congress to finally beak the longstanding budget impasse between the Senate and the House of Representatives.

But Andaya stressed that the position of the Lower House will not agree to the Senate’s stand to restore to the “old mode of lump-sum budgeting.”

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