September 12, 2019
THE Department of Finance (DoF) has secured the endorsement of the House Appropriations Committee for the congressional approval of its proposed P17.29-billion 2020 budget.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Finance department said Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing, one of the panel’s senior vice chairmen, sponsored its budget before the House plenary.
According to the DoF, Suansing cited the sound fiscal policies and reform measures implemented in the first three years of the Duterte administration. These include Republic Act 10963, or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (Train), which led to double-digit growth in tax collections; and a higher investment-grade credit rating of “BBB+” from S&P Global Ratings that is only a step away from the sterling “A” territory.
“These reforms and substantive gains enable us to fund critical government programs — programs badly needed by our constituents. Hence, it is but prudent to equip the Department of Finance and its attached agencies with [a] sufficient budget to keep this momentum of fiscal reforms and gains,” the lawmaker was quoted as saying.
According to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, the 2020 budget plan is P1.59 billion or 8 percent lower than its 2019 budget of P18.89 billion, which is also below the preceding year’s P19.73-billion allocation.
If automatic appropriations, unprogrammed appropriations and budgetary support for government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) are included, the
Finance department said its total budget for 2020 would reach P56 billion.
It added that its automatic appropriations of P1.4 billion covered retirement and life insurance premiums worth P720 million and special accounts in the P700-million General Fund.
Its unprogrammed appropriations of P211 million include the refund of the service development fee for the Nampedai property in Japan, while the budgetary support to GOCCs includes the P36.4 billion for cash transfers under Train and P97 million for the implementation of the specialized tax training and education management program of the Philippine Tax Academy.
The unprogrammed funds also cover the P500-million subsidy for the Trade and Investment Development Corp. of the Philippines (Tidcorp) for its capacity to cover additional guarantee volume it committed to deliver in 2020. This is to address the monitoring by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas of capital adequacy and Tidcorp’s liquidity.
Among the DoF’s attached agencies, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) got the largest allocation — P8.46 billion — “to further improve the agency’s tax administration and enforcement capabilities.”
Agencies that saw the biggest reduction in the 2020 budget are the Bureaus of the Treasury and of Customs.
The Treasury’s proposed budget of P4.77 billion for 2020 dropped by P1.3 billion or 21 percent from this year’s P6.04 billion “as it would be paying this year the final installment of the paid-in capital of the country to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” the DoF.
On the other hand, the non-approval of the Medium-Term Information and Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative projects of Customs under its modernization program led to a 14-percent decrease in its 2020 outlay of P2.26 billion from P2.62 billion this year.
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