Press Releases

Salceda says quick budget approval ‘now up to the Senate;’ Top House budget official tamps down possibility of “reenacted budget;” wants Senate to maximize impact of 2022 budget on growth by passing key reforms

October 28th, 2021

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) says that the possibility of a reenacted budget this year “is close to zero if not completely nil” as the House of Representatives has submitted the final printed version of the proposed National Budget early this week.

“We submitted it two days ago. We’re done. The ball is in the Senate’s court, and I am convinced they understand how crucial it is to have the budget submitted to President Duterte on time,” Salceda said. Salceda is also a Vice Chair of the House appropriations panel.

Salceda added that “while the entire Senate majority’s leadership is up for election, either for a new term or for new positions, I hope they will be able to set aside time away from campaigning to ensure that the budget will pass on time. I think they will.”

“The Speaker has committed to finishing on time, and as you can see, every budget he has handled has been enacted on time, as he promised the President at the start of his tenure,” Salceda said.

“We can’t afford a reenactment of the budget. The government’s GDP target for this year is 4-5% real GDP growth. We will probably be closer to 4 than to 5 percent given the disparities in vaccination levels. A reenactment of the 2021 budget will result almost certainly in us missing our targets for this year due to its impacts on investor confidence. It will also almost certainly lower our growth potential for 2022,” Salceda explained

“So, while I’m convinced there is very little possibility of a reenacted budget, it’s always good to remind ourselves of the consequences, just to be sure we pressure ourselves to get it done.”

Key reforms to boost budget impact

“I would say that if they can finish the budget early, it leaves the Senate some time to pass the remaining investment liberalization bills, namely the amendments to the Public Service Act, and the amendments to the Foreign Investments Act. We already submitted signed copies of the Retail Trade Liberalization Act amendments to Senate President Sotto, so I hope he signs soon and transmits to the President.”

Salceda is a principal author of all three measures.

“Passing the liberalization bills will be one of the most important boosters to the 2022 budget, because obviously the government does not have unlimited fiscal werewithal to pay for all capital formation activities. We need aggressive expansion of foreign investment, at least to match Vietnam levels in 2022, and then expand to USD 10 billion annually by the next President’s term.”

“I appeal to my counterparts in the Senate to move the bills forward before the term ends. Actually, during the brief period of time from November 8 to December 17 where we will be in session. I think it’s enough time.”

“After that, everyone will be caught up in the whirlwind of campaigns. So, the coming weeks will really be the supremely important opportunity to do them.” #

Other Press Releases
Statement on the pronouncements against the Public Service Act amendments (RA 11659)
Read More
Statement on the February 2024 jobs report
Read More
Statement on the March 2024 inflation figures
Read More
The problem of access to Senior Citizen healthcare is structural, but it should be addressed alongside other issues with Senior Citizen welfare.
Read More