Duterte wants gov't salary hike to come from 2018 budget

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President Rodrigo Duterte (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 20) — President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to look for availbale funds in the reenacted 2018 budget to cover salary increases this year.

On March 15, Duterte issued amendments to Executive Order 201 in 2016 which scheduled the fourth tranche of adjusments under the salary standardization law on January 1, 2019.

"Pending the enactment of the FY 2019 GAA (Fiscal Year 2019 General Appropriations Act), the funding requirements for the compensation adjustment of FY 2019 shall be charged against any available appropriations under the FY 2018 GAA, as reenacted, to be determined by the DBM, subject to existing budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations," the President's amendment read.

Government has been operating on the 2018 budget since January 1. The Senate and House of Representatives are at odds over lump sum appropriations in the proposed 2019 budget. After Congress ratified the bill, the House introduced an amendment that breaks down the lump sum appropriations, which senators called illegal and unconstitutional.

Malacañang earlier said a reenacted budget will delay government projects. In fact, the Department of Transportation on March 6 said government failed to pay the required advanced payments for three key railway projects -- the MRT-3 rehabilitation, the Metro Manila subway, and the Philippine National Railway Tutuban-Malalos railway -- as funds for these projects are under the 2019 budget.