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Andaya puro bola: Diokno denies Malacanang is budging on cash-based budget in 2019


Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Thursday denied that a compromise between lawmakers and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) regarding the cash-based budget implementation in 2019 has been reached.

On the sidelines of a hearing at the Senate, Diokno said he has no idea what Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. was talking about.

News reports quoting Andaya said the compromise was agreed upon during his meeting with House of Representatives Speaker Gloria Arroyo and President Rodrigo Duterte Tuesday night.

The government is proposing reforms in the budget system, particularly the implementation of a cash-based budget that has a validity of one year, a change from the current obligations-based system, under which, funds could be used a year after the supposed period it was allocated for.

Diokno, in a briefing Wednesday, said this reform is being pushed to institutionalize the goal to enhance efficiency of public spending.

To date, both the House and the Senate decided to put on hold hearings for the proposed 2019 national budget pending revisions on the cash-based budgeting system.

Members of the House are also calling for the revision of the proposed national budget for next year, noting the big cuts in the allocation for some agencies and programs, which Diokno, meanwhile, traced to underspending in the past years.

The budget chief said a meeting with lawmakers on this issue was not on the table.(PNA)