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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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EO needed for 4th salary hike under reenacted budget – DBM

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 09:58 PM

STATE WORKERS: Government employees, public school teachers,soldiers

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

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Sotto won’t sign 2019 budget due to alleged realignments

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 11 March 2019 08:06 PM

FILE PHOTO: Senate President Vicente Sotto III

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

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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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