Solons deny Sen. Lacson’s allegation of ‘pork barrel’ in 2019 Nat’l budget
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Thursday, 6 December 2018 04:21 PM
FILE PHOTO: Sen. Panfilo Lacson
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Committee on Appropriations strongly denied that there had been billions of pesos worth of insertions for two congressmen’s pet projects in the proposed 2019 National Budget as accused by Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Specifically, Lacson mentioned a more than P2-billion additional fund intended for the second district of Pampanga.
Though Lacson did not name the involved lawmaker, he was clearly pointing at House Speaker Gloria Arroyo’s district in Pampanga.
But Acting Committee Chair Maria Carmen Zamora stressed that they only provided P1.9-billion, not P2.2-billion, to Arroyo.
“I don’t see any Congress person na may ganoon kalaking increase. I don’t agree na nabuhusan ng proyekto ang distrito ng Pampanga,” Zamora said.
But according to Makabayan bloc, budget insertions are common among lawmakers which they divide among their local officials. In fact, according to ACT Teachers Party list Rep. Antonio Tinio, insertions as such are more massive among the senators.
“Hindi lang sa Kongreso o House of Representatives nangyayari iyan. Sa Senate din ang mas malaki pa nga na mga insertions,” he alleged.
But Zamora maintained that the budget allocations to each of the congressmen all depends on the needs of their respective districts.
“We make sure the reason is equitable distribution based on the needs ng ating mga distrito,” she said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)
by UNTV News | Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 09:58 PM
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) sees the need to prepare a contingency plan to meet the funding requirements of the implementation of the 4th tranche of salary adjustments for government workers.
This is due to the constraints that the impasse on the 2019 national budget has put on in the execution of government programs and projects.
In a statement, the DBM said that should the deadlock on the passage of the 2019 budget continue, it has to recommend to the Office of the President the amendment of Executive Order (EO) No. 201 or the Modifying the Salary Schedule for Civilian Government Personnel and Authorizing the Grant of Additional Benefits for Both Civilian and Military and Uniformed Personnel.
The budget department said, “This amendment will authorize government agencies to utilize available appropriations under the re-enacted budget in the meantime to meet the funding requirements of the salary adjustments, subject to existing budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations.”
“With this measure, the long overdue compensation hike that our public servants have been looking forward to can finally be granted,” the statement added.
The budget department said it still urges Congress to fast track the passage of the 2019 national budget to end the country’s fiscal uncertainty and deliver the projects and services that the Filipino people expect. – Maris Federez
by UNTV News | Posted on Monday, 11 March 2019 08:06 PM
The Senate leadership said it won’t be signing the 3.75-trillion-peso 2019 proposed budget.
This is prompted by the allegation that the House leadership and the House Appropriations Committee made some changes to the ratified version of the budget.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III maintained what he said earlier about not signing the ratified 2019 budget once he sees changes from the original approved version of both chambers of Congress.
The bill needs the signature of the two leaders of Congress before they submit it for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.
“Kapag nakita naming iba dun sa niratify namin, hindi namin ita-transmit sa Presidente [Once we see that it’s different from what we ratified, we won’t transmit it to the President]. And I will tell the President that this is not what we passed,” said Sotto.
The Senate President said that based on the information he received from some members of the House and from the report of the Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office, realignments were made to the proposed budget intended for the projects in several districts, which amounted to P79-billion.
Sotto also denied the allegation of Appropriations Committee Chairman Rolando Andaya that the Senate itself made some post-bi-cam realignment totaling to P75-billion.
With this, the Senate President dared the House leadership to proceed with the transmittal of the budget to them.
“Kung ganun ang sinasabi nila at ang tingin nila ay legal yung ginawa nila e di pirmahan nila, isubmit nila sa amin dito [If that is what they were saying and if they think what they did was legal, then go and sign and submit it to us],” Sotto said.
When asked what he would do in that situation, Sotto replied, “I will cross the bridge when I get there.”
The deadlock is seen to result in an extension of the reenacted budget until August. And although Sotto no longer elaborated on what specific changes were made to the proposed budget and on whether it is has something to do with the 2019 Midterm Elections, he insisted that the said realignment is in violation of the Constitution. – Maris Federez
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Monday, 21 January 2019 07:25 PM
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
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