DBM to push cash-based budgeting in 2019, despite rejection by Congress

Aika Rey
DBM to push cash-based budgeting in 2019, despite rejection by Congress
'We are doing it already. We don't need a law,' says Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno of Congress' rejection of cash-based budgeting in 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday, February 13, said that cash-based budgeting is “still on” this year, despite the scheme’s rejection by the Congress.

In a media briefing on Wednesday, Diokno reiterated that it’s the executive branch’s prerogative to implement what type of budgeting system it wants.

“We’re ready. We will not stop just because the general provision was deleted. It’s still on,” Diokno.

For the longest time, agencies’ budgets have followed two-year, obligation-based budgeting, which disburses payments as obligations or commitments that may not necessarily be delivered within the same year.

But the shift to a cash-based budget would limit contractual obligations and disbursing payments to goods delivered and services rendered within the fiscal year. (READ: What is cash-based budgeting?)

However, the bicameral conference committee said they are rejecting the implementation of the cash-based budgeting system and the old obligation-based system will be adopted instead.

Diokno on Wednesday said they don’t need the Congress’ approval.

“What we’re going to do is to institutionalize it by having the annual cash-based appropriations in the law so it will be deemed as seen. We are hoping that the next President will not undo what we have done so far,” Diokno said.

“In the meantime, we are doing it already. We don’t need a law. In fact in 2017, we started that the project should be done within the year. One year validity and implementation,” he added.

The budget chief said he hasn’t seen the copy of the 2019 General Appropriations Act, which will be endorsed to the President on March 1.

Supposedly the first cash-based budget of the government, the 2019 budget amounts to P3.757 trillion, representing 19.3% of the projected gross domestic product for next year.

This figure is 13% higher than the 2018 budget’s cash-based equivalent at P3.318 trillion. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.