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DoF 2019 budget cut by P630M



Like a few other agencies of government with prospectively lower operating budgets next year, the Department of Finance (DoF) has a proposed budget of only P18.68 billion. That number had been endorsed by the Appropriations Committee at the House of Representatives on Thursday.

According to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the budget translates to three percent or P630 million lower compared to the current P19.31 billion.

Likewise, the proposed budget is also lower than the P21.5 allocation billion it received a year-ago.

“As in this year’s budget, the DoF has voluntarily submitted a lower allocation under the proposed GAA (General Appropriations Act) for 2019 to set an example for other departments to operate efficiently,” Dominguez said.

He further said the reduced budget for 2019 was anchored on the cash budgeting scheme which aims to improve the “absorptive capacity of all government agencies.”

“The P18.68-billion DoF budget for 2019 excludes the budgetary support for government-owned and controlled corporations at P36.60 billion; automatic appropriations of P1.37 billion for the department’s retirement and life insurance premiums and special accounts in the General Fund for several programs of its attached agencies—the Bureau of Customs and Insurance Commission and unprogrammed appropriations of P210 million, which is for the refund of the service development fee for the Philippines’ Nampedai property in Japan,” the DOF said.

Dominguez also said the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) will receive the biggest increase reaching P6.05 billion or 39 percent higher than the P4.36 billion this year. Other agencies were given lower outlays.

The Finance chief pointed out the higher BTr budget was driven by the need to pay the insurance premium of government assets against natural or human-induced calamities, epidemics, crises and catastrophes as provided under Republic Act 656 establishing the Property Insurance Fund.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will receive the biggest chunk of the proposed budget with P8.1 billion, a mere one percent uptick from the current allocation.

“The slight rise in the BIR budget is largely attributed to the 12 percent hike in personnel services and the 65 percent increase in capital outlay,” the DoF said.