Daily News

Budget delay to cut growth to 8-yr low

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Ernesto Pernia said that if Congress could not pass the P3.757-trillion 2019 national budget and instead keep on operating with the reenacted appropriations, gross domestic product (GDP) could grow by only 4.2-4.9%. The NEDA’s projected GDP growth range if the reenacted budget would extend until August is 4.9-5.1%. But if the budget impasse ends next month, economic expansion will be 6.1-6.3%, still below the government’s 7-8% target range and possibly match last year’s 6.2%. Sec. Pernia said the reenacted budget was not only delaying ongoing and new infrastructure projects but also the delivery of social services such as the unconditional cash transfer and Pantawid Pasada programs for indigent households and public utility vehicle drivers, respectively, affected by the higher excise taxes slapped under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.