By Ellson Quismorio
Another House leader said Thursday that the potential six-day delay in the enactment of the P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget won’t have a negative impact on the economy.
Tarlac 2nd district Rep. Victor Yap used as point of comparison the enactment of the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA) worth P3.7 trillion.
“For a week, I don’t think it will affect the economy unlike last year when it was [delayed] like half a year almost,” said Yap, chairman of the House Information and Communications Technology Committee.
Reports said that the delayed passage of the 2019 fiscal plan and subsequent use of a reenacted budget led to P463.6 billion in economic losses for the first half of that year.
This meant that the country lost a whopping P77.2 billion per month during the first six months of 2019. Yap said this certainly won’t be the case for 2020.
“So for sure, the House’s effort in passing the  budget in record time won’t go to waste,” said the former provincial governor.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea’s earlier announced that the 2020 national budget would be signed by President Duterte on January 6 at the very latest.
House members under Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano succeeded in passing the proposed P4.1-trillion budget at their level in just 20 working days.
Earlier, Committee on Justice Vice Chairman, AKO-Bicol Party-List Rep. Alfredo Garbin said the 2020 budget would be signed “just in time” to avoid a reenacted budget.
“The signing of [the 2020 budget] on January 6 will be in time to finance the necessary expenditures especially the social services and the ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects. This will pump prime the economy,” Garbin said.
Speaker Cayetano himself also said that the six-day delay won’t be a big deal, and that House leaders would be willing to fly to Davao to give clarifications to the President on the budget if needed.