Administration submits proposed ₱3.757 trillion 2019 national budget

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The executive branch submits for the approval of Congress the 2019 cash-based national government budget. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24) — The administration submitted to Congress the proposed national budget for 2019.

President Rodrigo Duterte on his Budget Message for the Fiscal Year of 2019 said that the proposed ₱3.757 trillion budget aims to continue the administration's push towards inclusive growth.

"To continue the narrative of change and progress, leading to the bright future towards which we are taking our country and people, we continue our adherence to the principles that have guided us in the preparation of the Budget that supports it," Duterte said.

The budget will continue to target the development of infrastructure and human capital with the goal of building a high-income, predominantly middle-class economy by 2040.

The 2019 general appropriations will also be partially cash-based as the Department of Budget and Management continues the push for a completely cash-based annual appropriations system. Of the ₱3.757 trillion 2019 proposed budget, ₱3.324 trillion will be cashed-based appropriation.

"The bottom line principle behind a cash-based appropriations system is this: national government agencies will be measured not on the basis of their obligations which are mere commitments, but on their actions, their real outputs," Duterte said.

He added that a cash-based budget would mean that contractors and service providers of government agencies will be paid on time.

To offset the proposed 2019 spending, the administration expects P3.208 trillion in revenues, 94 percent of which will be collected from taxes. For this, Duterte urged Congress to pass the remaining packages of the administration's Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP). The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) was the first package of this program.

"The CTRP is not a populist reform measure. It seeks not to deprive people of resources, but instead to give them more through lower income taxes. And it seeks not to destroy business confidence, but instead to build the appropriate environment to attract more investments through quality infrastructure development nationwide and lower corporate income tax," Duterte said.

The administration also plans to borrow about ₱1.189 trillion, or 6.1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), higher than last year's borrowing program of ₱996.2 billion.