MANILA (REUTERS) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (April 15) signed a 3.7 trillion peso (S$96.8 billion) budget for this year, its largest ever, ending months of impasse that forced the South-east Asian country to cuts its growth target.
The Philippines last month cut its 2019 growth target to 6-7 per cent from 7-8 per cent, reflecting the absence of a new budget and the impact of the US-China trade dispute.
In signing the budget, the president vetoed US$1.8 billion worth of appropriations, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told reporters. Vetoed items include non-priority public works, he said.
Months of squabbling between the upper and lower chambers of the house delayed the transmission of this year's national budget to the president.
For next year, economic managers will propose a 4.1 trillion peso national budget.
The Philippines, among the fastest growing economies in Asia, is aiming for growth of 6.5-7.5 per cent in 2020, and 7-8 per cent in 2021 and 2022, mainly through an extensive infrastructure overhaul.
The Philippine economy grew 6.2 per cent in 2018, the slowest in three years, because of weak exports, manufacturing and farm output.