Press Release
November 26, 2019

Senate OKs bill extending validity of 2019 budget

The Senate today approved on final reading a measure seeking to extend the validity of this year's national budget until December 31, 2020.

Sen. Sonny Angara said the passage of House Bill No. 5437, which amends Section 65 of Republic Act No. 11260, otherwise known as the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA), will greatly help all government agencies involved in relief efforts such as the recent series of earthquakes in Mindanao.

Angara, chairman of the Finance Committee, said the bill's approval will ensure the availability of over P12 billion from the Calamity Fund and other quick response funds lodged with various agencies.

"Through this measure we would be extending a big helping hand to the Executive Branch which has had to operate during the first few months of this year on a re-enacted budget and the rest under pressure to spend up to P3.687 trillion of total available appropriations in a span of seven to eight months approximately amidst the election ban on government projects this year," he said.

"We do this because under RA 11260 or the 2019 GAA and Executive Order No. 91 on the implementation of a cash-budgeting system, all appropriations that were not released, obligated or paid by the Dec. 31, 2019 shall lapse and revert to the national treasury," Angara added.

Angara said it was not the first time the Senate is sponsoring a measure seeking to extend the validity of the GAA.

"My predecessors at the finance committee, Senators (Loren) Legarda and (Francis) Escudero, also sponsored in 2013 and 2018 respectively similar measures calling for extensions in the budget validity," he said.

"The Senate is not oblivious to the travails of the Executive Branch and we must help them. We must see to it that the national budget we approved for 2019 would benefit our people in terms of better services and more efficient public spending," said Angara.

He said the non-extension of the budget's validity would have the following impact:

  • For the Department of Education (DepEd) : 2,900 classrooms will not be repaired and rehabilitated as scheduled; 590 schools will remain without electricity; up to 57 Gabaldon school buildings will not be restored; up to 11,677 activity sheets and modules for kindergarten and Grade 1 students will not be printed and delivered;

  • For the Department of Health (DOH): funding for infrastructure projects, medical equipment of 2,800 health facilities enhancement program (HFEP) will be adversely affected;

  • The Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) supplementary feedings program will not push through;

  • At least P8 billion of the remaining budget of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) will not be utilized to pay for the second semester billing under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act;

  • The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) would not be able to place more students under the government's internship program or help workers beset with misfortune under its Tulong Panghanapbuhay program.

"Many other agencies would be able to implement their projects and provide their services to the people if the budget's validity is extended," Angara said.

Nineteen of the senators present voted to approve the measure.

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