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  • Pres. Duterte to sign 2019 budget before Holy Week President Rodrigo Duterte is likely to sign the long delayed 2019 budget program before the Holy Week break, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said. The President, he said, might veto some parts of the appropriations program, but he clarified he was not sure if it would involve the P75-billion pork barrel insertions of the House of Representatives. Congress transmitted the P3.757-trillion budget last March 26 to the President after months of impasse among senators and congressmen over alleged pork barrel insertions and realignments. Pres. Duterte had publicly vowed not to sign a budget measure that would be found with provisions deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
  • IMF joins other multilateral bodies in cutting PH growth outlook The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also tempered its growth forecast for the Philippines this year, in the face of a projected drop in world output. In its World Economic Outlook (WEO) report, the IMF now sees the Philippine economy growing by 6.5% this year, slower than the 6.6% forecast given in 2018. This mirrors scaled-down estimates given by other multilateral organizations earlier this month, and falls within the government’s lowered 6-7% target. The growth pace also compares to 2018’s 6.2% expansion. The IMF’s estimate matches the rate given by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCAP), and is faster than the downward-revised 6.4% forecast given by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. It also compares with 6.5% this year and 6.4% next year given last January by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

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