Duterte Signs 2019 National Budget into Law, Vetoes ₱95.3B DPWH Projects
President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed into law yesterday the proposed national budget for 2019, and vetoed the ₱95.3 billion budget allocation for the programs/projects of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways). The total allocation for the national budget is estimated to be ₱3.757 trillion.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed through a text message that the President affixed his signature on the budget bill yesterday.
The signing of Republic Act No. 11260, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act of 2019, was conducted without ceremony and without the presence of the members of Congress. Executive Secretary Medialdea was the only other individual present in the Study Room of Malacañang during the signing. The new national budget law is set to replace the 2018 reenacted budget allocated to all agencies.
Duterte vetoed ₱95.3 billion items of appropriation in the details of DPWH programs/projects, citing that they are not part of his administration’s priority projects for this year. The vetoed items include the ₱75 billion “insertions” worth of programs and projects under the DPWH budget that were previously denounced by some senators, including Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, for being unauthorized, illegal, and likened to pork barrel.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement, “The President vetoed items of appropriation that are either considered by law and jurisprudence as rider provisions not being related to a particular appropriation or they seek to amend the Constitution and certain statutes.”
Duterte stated last week that he will not sign an ‘illegal’ budget, threatening that he will veto the entire 2019 budget if the Malacañang’s review exposes irregular fund realignments.