The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a bill extending the availability of the funds for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlays (CO) under the 2019 budget until December 31, 2020.
With 192 affirmative votes and no negative votes or abstention, the lower chamber approved House Bill 5437, which seeks to amend Section 65 of the Republic Act 11260 or the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019.
House committee on appropriations chairman Isidro Ungab, a principal author of the bill, said the late passage of the 2019 GAA and the election ban on the implementation of infrastructure and social services projects in view of the May 2019 polls resulted in the delay of the implementation of infrastructure and social services projects.
“There are appropriations that have not been released and allotment issued that have not been obligated which shall automatically lapse depriving the people and the country of the much-needed MOOE and CO fund priority projects, financial assistance program, aid, and relief activities, as well as for the maintenance, construction/repair, and rehabilitation of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and other essential facilities of the national government ” Ungab said.
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez stressed that the extension of the validity of some portions of the 2019 budget is vital in ensuring that the funding requirements of some national projects under this year’s appropriations will continue until 2020. (PNA)