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Malacañang: Congress should explain P2.4-B realignment in 2019 proposed budget

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 7 December 2018 09:44 AM


MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Gloria Arroyo and other congressmen should provide clarifications concerning funds that were allegedly realigned to their districts in the House version of the 2019 proposed national budget, according to Malacañang.

This was after negative reactions surfaced from different quarters on the alleged existence of pork barrel in the 2019 proposed budget.

On Wednesday, Senator Panfilo Lacson presented a list of what he believes are inserted pork barrel funds in the P3.575 trillion budget transmitted from Congress, including billions of pesos allocated to the projects in the districts of two lawmakers.

On the other hand, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, “I think we should ask the Speaker why the allocation is that large as compared to others…the fact that some quarters are reacting, it behooves those who are involved in the realignment to respond to the protest of some elements of the society.”

However, Malacañang reiterated it is a different issue if the realignment can be justified.

The official also assured that the government will not allow any form of corruption.

“If the Speaker or whoever is involved with that realignment can justify why there is a need to place that kind of amount in a particular area and the other areas don’t need that, then that could be justified. If the other areas need that kind of money, and you’re depriving them of that, then there’s something wrong with that,” said Panelo.

Malacañang is also confident that President Duterte won’t allow the budget proposal of his administration to be used in corruption.

It is also possible for the president to veto line items in the proposed budget when necessary.

“The president can always use the veto power if he feels that there is a need for that,” said Panelo. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue


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Lawmakers insist P160-M allocation per solon in 2019 budget, not pork barrel

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 14 February 2019 10:16 AM

Session Hall of the House of Representatives Complex in Constitution Hills, Quezon City

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The 3.75 trillion 2019 proposed national budget is now in the hands of President Rodrigo Duterte for his final approval before it gets implemented this year.

Despite the controversies, some lawmakers insist there are no pork barrel insertions in it.

According to Coop-NATCCO party-list Representative Anthony Bravo, there is indeed a P160 million allocation per solon in the budget.

Pero dahil gusto nating i-redistribute, equitably but equally ang resources ng gobyerno para umabot po, pantay-pantay sa ating mga kababayan ay nag-peg ng P160 million. I don’t think that is a pork,” Bravo argued.

The lawmaker added that the items under the 2019 budget are already transparent, and may be scrutinized by the public.

On the other hand, Senator Panfilo Lacson had earlier argued that the said pork insertions in the budget may cause corruption of the part of the proponents of the projects.

“All you have to do is to talk to contractors to find out ilang porsyento ang ibinibigay nila doon sa mga proponent ng mga projects,” Lacson said.

Lacson said, however, that his only hope is that the President and his economic managers will thoroughly scrutinize the proposed budget for alleged pork insertions which could then be vetoed by the president himself. – Nel Maribojoc

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Senate approves 2019 national budget on third and final reading

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 21 January 2019 07:25 PM

FILE PHOTO: A Senate committee hearing

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Senate on Monday (January 21) approved on third and final reading the proposed P3.757 trillion 2019 National Budget.

Fourteen (14) senators voted to pass the budget with zero negative votes and abstention.

The approval comes two months after the House of Representatives passed its version of the measure last November 2018.

The two chambers of Congress are set to convene in a bicameral conference committee to reconcile their versions of the budget before it will be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature – UNTV News and Rescue


Malacañang confident Congress will pass 2019 national budget

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 18 January 2019 02:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang believes there is no need to pressure Congress to pass the proposed 2019 national budget.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lawmakers themselves know very well how important the passage of the measure is for the overall state of the country.

“I am sure they will be passing that naman. They are all concerned with the services, the infrastructures that will be affected,” Panelo said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III previously said the Senate targets to pass the measure on the second and third reading before the end of January.

House Minority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. already filed a petition for mandamus in the Supreme Court (SC) to compel Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to release the fund for the salary increase of government personnel.

Diokno argued, however, that such a request has no legal basis unless the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Act is passed.

Once enacted, the fourth tranche of wage hike for government workers will be enforced specifically for teachers, soldiers and police.

“If the budget is approved, then the petition becomes moot and academic,” Panelo said.

When asked if Malacañang feels confident that the national budget will be approved, Panelo said, ” “I think so. I was with the Speaker Arroyo. She mentioned that most likely it will pass,” — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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