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Philippines' Duterte signs $71 bln national budget, after months of delay

Reuters

MANILA, April 15 () - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed a 3.7 trillion peso ($71.5 billion) budget for this year, its largest ever, ending months of impasse that forced the Southeast Asian country to cuts its growth target.

The Philippines last month cut its 2019 growth target to 6-7 percent from 7-8 percent, reflecting the absence of a new budget and the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute.

In signing the budget, the president vetoed $1.8 billion worth of appropriations, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told reporters. Vetoed items include non-priority public works, he said.

For next year, economic managers will propose a 4.1 trillion peso ($79.35 billion) national budget. The Philippines, among the fastest growing economies in Asia, is aiming for growth of 6.5-7.5 percent in 2020, and 7-8 percent in 2021 and 2022, mainly through an extensive infrastructure overhaul.

The Philippine economy grew 6.2 percent in 2018, the slowest in three years, because of weak exports, manufacturing and farm output.


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Reuters

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