Malacañang, muling ipinagtanggol si DBM Sec. Abad sa isyu ng DAP

admin   •   July 9, 2014   •   2706

Presidential Spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Walang masamang epekto sa trabaho ni Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Butch Abad ang mga isyung kinakaharap nito sa Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Kabilang na dito ang isinampang plunder complaint ng Kabataan Partylist, Youth Act Now at National Union of Students of the Philippines sa Office of the Ombudsman laban sa budget secretary.

“Kahit naman po may kaso na ngayon, hindi po nagbago yung— hindi po nagbago si Secretary Abad. Ang kaniyang ginawa po ay para lang mapabilis ang paggamit ng pondo ng ating kaban para mas gumaganang mga proyekto. Iyon po ang naging layon ng Disbursement Acceleration Program”, pahayag ni Presidential Spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda.

Muli ring ipinagtanggol ng Malacañang si Secretary Abad sa DAP issue.

“Winaldas ba ang pera ni Secretary Butch Abad? Hindi. Ninakaw ba ang pera? Hindi. Very, very clear, categorical answers that none either acts happen. Did he personally gain to it? Hindi rin”, ani Lacierda.

Naniniwala rin si Lacierda na malalampasan ng administrasyong Aquino ang mga kritisismong ibinabato dito dahil sa DAP.

“On the need to inform people what are the effects, I supposed to say, that’s our role.”

Kaugnay nito, umaasa ang Malacañang na tutuparin ng Office of the Ombudsman ang mandato nito na imbestigahan ang inihaing reklamo ng naturang grupo ng mga kabataan laban kay Secretary Abad. (Nel Maribojoc, UNTV News)

Senate panel approves COA, Ombudsman proposed 2022 budget

Maris Federez   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday approved the proposed budget of two constitutional bodies for 2022.

Senator Sonny Angara called the budget deliberation of the Commission on Audit and the Office of the Ombudsman the shortest so far for this year, as the panel gave its approval under 15 minutes of the hearing.

The committee hearing for COA’s proposed budget of P14.4 billion only took 10 minutes and was soon endorsed for the nod of the plenary.

“No questions on the part of the Chair. […] this is probably the shortest budget meeting of this 2022 budget,” Angara said during the hearing.

Indicated in COA’s proposed budget is its request for additional funds for personnel services for the third tranche of the pay adjustments under the salary standardization law for government employees.

COA also requested a budget increase for the construction of provincial satellite auditing offices and provision for the operational expenses of these branches.

“We have written a letter to the committee asking for additional budgetary support primarily on the MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) […] and possibly if the budget is flexible enough, maybe additional capital outlay,” said COA chairperson Michael Aguinaldo.

COA has, so far, completed the construction of 54 satellite offices, and 17 more under construction.

Meanwhile, it only took the Senate panel 13 minutes to finish the hearing of the P3.9 billion budget of the Office of the Ombudsman that was recommended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Ombudsman Samuel Martires appealed for additional funding for its operational budget that was cut by almost half by the DBM.

“We’re not asking too much. If it will be hard for the Senate to give us the proposed budget for 2022, then we just would like to request that at least the budget that was given to us for 2021 be retained,” Martires said.

The Senate is currently on recess and is expected to resume on November 8 wherein senators are expected to start the deliberation of the national budget in the plenary. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Doctors group urges Duterte to reverse order barring Cabinet members from attending Senate hearing

Maris Federez   •   October 11, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — A group of doctors appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse his order barring  Cabinet members from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing on the alleged anomalous procurement of COVID-19 supplies.

The group wants the Senate hearing to continue the hearing, questioning why the Department of Health (DOH) transferred the said procurement to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

This, despite the earlier clarification made by the Commission on Audit that there was no overpricing in the procurement of COVID-19 supplies and that the said government transaction went through careful inspection.

“Kung bakit ipinasa ng Department of Health ang pagbili nung mga protective equipment na ito sa Department of Budget (and Management), sa DBM. ‘Yun pa lang hindi ma-explain, kase ang ipinapasa lang po talaga sa DBM ay yung mga administrative. ‘Yung mga may kinalaman sa administrative part which means yung mga office supplies, ang mga protective equipment, definitely this is a health. This should actually belong to the Department of Health,” said the group’s president, Dr. Maricar Limpin.

The group also defended the manner of questioning of some senators on the resource persons, saying that there was no bullying that was taking place during the hearing.

“Sa paningin ko yun ay part ng pagku-cross examine, at different personalities have different way of trying to get information. Whatever form na ginagawa nila in order to extract the truth, kase hindi siya maliit na pera. Forty-two billion. At napunta po iyong deal na iyan, yung kontrata, sa isang maliit na kumpanya,” Dr. Anthony Leachon, former president of PCP, said.

The group appeals to the Senate to finish the hearing on the said issue and forward the result of their investigation to the Department of Justice or the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the administration will no longer allow Cabinet members and other officials in the Executive Department to attend any succeeding Senate hearings.

“In fact, they appeared before 12 hearings of the Senate and the House and he only said itigil na iyan, after 12. Kasi wala namang bago pong tinatanong at walang bagong sagot,” Roque said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

DBM: Additional P451.31 million released for health workers’ risk allowance

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Wednesday said it has released an additional P451.31 million for the Special Risk Allowance (SRA) of eligible public and private healthcare workers (HCWs) in the country.

In a statement, the agency said the fund is for the SRAs of healthcare workers who are directly catering to or are in contact with COVID-19 patients from December 20, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

“Of this amount, P407.08 million was charged from the Contingent Fund while P44.23 million was charged from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund under the FY 2021 General Appropriations Act,” the budget department said.

Overall, the DBM has already released a total of P8.23 billion.

The department added that the budget has benefitted about 499,116 healthcare workers who each received an SRA not exceeding P5,000 per month for the covered period.

The SRA is an additional benefit received by healthcare workers, apart from the existing compensations as prescribed under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers and the DOH-DBM Joint Circular No. 1, series of 2016, the DBM said.

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