President Rodrigo Duterte will not tolerate the use of any single peso in the PHP4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 for personal gain.
This was among the provisions to specific conditions stipulated in the President’s message on the 2020 national budget.
Duterte reminded government officials and employees to strictly observe Executive Order No. 77 which bans junkets for government officials and employees.
The EO also mandates government officials and employees to travel in economy class except for Department Secretaries, Undersecretaries, and Assistant Secretaries if their trip is more than four hours.
It also requires government workers to use public modes of transportation on their travels.
“I can never overemphasize my abhorrence of corruption, and so I have to make sure that the use of any single peso in this Budget for personal gain will not be tolerated,” Duterte said in his budget message.
“This is to guarantee that the travel will be used only for the effective performance of an official or employee’s mandates or functions, and there is a substantial benefit to be derived by the State,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte described the 2020 budget as another “opportunity” to come closer to the collective dream of “a more peaceful and progressive Philippines.”
“We began with the FY 2017 Budget on a simple philosophy — A Budget for Real Change. We crafted our change agenda, and set out on a journey which we will continue through this FY 2020 Budget, underscoring the importance of peace and progress in the process. With this, I look forward to year 2020 with high hopes,” Duterte said.
“Always for the Filipino people,” he added.
Duterte reiterated the need for “change” to move forward as 2020 marks the second half of his six-year term as leader of the country.
“Moving forward requires change. We have to continue to improve as a nation and abandon habits and practices that hamper and continue to slow down our progress,” Duterte said.
“With a credible and effective system now firmly set in place, we are confident that in the next three years, we will continue reaping the fruits of our labor,” he added.
He acknowledged the progress made in reaching socio-economic and development goals for the country but noted that the work does not end there.
“While I am happy to say that the passage of the FY 2020 National Budget, equivalent to PHP4.1 trillion, continues the work we have started three and a half years ago — to enable the Filipino people to achieve their dream — it does not mark the end of a journey, but rather the start of a more challenging phase of our voyage for a more peaceful and progressive Philippines,” Duterte said.
The President vowed to continue to be guided by principles of supporting growth targets, adherence to fiscal responsibility, effective allocation for infrastructure and social services, and continued adoption of the cash budgeting system.
He also enjoined the public to continue helping the government to build a better country.
In a ceremony in Malacañang on Monday, Duterte signed the 2020 national budget without vetoing any provisions.
The 2020 national budget of PHP 4.1 trillion is 9 percent higher than last year’s PHP3.76 trillion budget and the country’s largest to date.
It is expected to sustain the critical infrastructure, human capital development, and peace and order initiatives of the administration to support socio-economic growth. (PNA)