Sen. Lacson urged to identify questionable P20-B in proposed 2020 national budget

Maris Federez   •   November 4, 2019   •   520

Sen. Panfilo Lacson

A lawmaker in the House of Representatives wants Senator Panfilo Lacson to identify what he calls “parked funds” in the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 as approved by the House of Representatives.

House Deputy Speaker for Finance and Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Luis Raymond Villafuerte reiterated that the lower chamber did not touch or changed anything in the proposed budget submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

“Yung sinasabing 20 billion, I think naka-line yan, hindi lang malinaw. Siguro kailangan lang linawin yan ng mga department. Wala kaming ginalaw or inamend from the NEP,” Villafuerte said.

To clear up everything, Villafuerte wants Lacson to identify the said questionable item in the national budget.

“May mga lumpsum, for example feasibility study, right of way, foreign assisted. I think he has to, makakatulong kung eemphasize niya kung alin dun,” Villafuerte added.

Malacanang, meanwhile, also said that all it takes is for Lacson to point out the questionable amount and the President will remove it.

“Tell Sen Lacson to point out the specific item in the GAA and the President will remove it,” said Presidential spokesperson Atty Salvador Panelo.

Conversely, Lacson is confident that the President will remove the questionable fund, like what he did in the P95-Billion fund inserted in the House level for the 2019 national budget.

Lacson said that he will be the one who will propose to have the questionable amount removed when it reached the Senate.

In the meantime, Congressman Villafuerte is hoping that the 2020 national budget will be deliberated upon at the bicameral conference by the end of November.

He said they would want to discuss the additional funds for infrastructure, health, and the areas affected by the recent earthquakes.

The house targets to have the budget enacted by the first week of December. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

Gov’t still has enough budget for COVID-19 response — DBM

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The national government has shed a total amount of P374.89 billion on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according President Rodrigo Duterte during the recent pre-SONA forum.

The largest chunk, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), was spent on programs designed to strengthen the country’s health sector and relief assistance to those who were affected by the lockdowns.

Still, the DBM maintained that the government has enough budget to sustain its COVID-19 response. 

“Mayroon pong sapat na pondo ang ating pamahalaan upang tugunan at labanan ang patuloy na pananalasa ng COVID-19 pandemic po sa ating bansa (Our government has enough budget to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country),” assured DBM Secretary Wendell Avisado.

Meanwhile, the government has raised around P5.28 billion US dollars budgetary financing support from development partners apart from the P126.36 million U.S dollars from ongoing financing for COVID-19 response projects.  

The Duterte Cabinet stressed the need to open the economy in Metro Manila and the CALABARZON region in order for the country’s overall economy to gradually recover considering that 67 percent of the country’s economy depends on these two regions. 

However, they emphasized the public’s important role in economic recovery, thus strict compliance with the government’s minimum health standards to curb the spread of COVID-19 is critical. 

“It is vital that the economies of these regions reopen. The reality is, this virus won’t go away until a vaccine is found. In the meantime, we have to go back to work, while staying safe,” noted Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. 

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, meanwhile, urged the public to be vigilant and responsible to avoid being infected with the deadly virus. 

“Each and every Filipino needs to be very vigilant. We should all continue observing social distancing, and other public health measures such as wearing masks, and frequent washing of hands to protect each other’s health and well-being,” he said. 

“We must act responsibly,” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Proposed 2021 budget under review, may be submitted in July or August – DBM

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Wednesday said it is now preparing the details of the proposed national budget for the year 2021.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said they are currently conducting a technical review on proposed budgets submitted by government agencies.

“Ang atin pong proposed budget for next year ay nasa P4.3 trillion. At tumaas ito ng bahagya dahil this year nasa 4.1 trillion pesos tayo. Umakyat ng kaunti lang,” Avisado said.

The Budget chief said the 2021 proposed budget will concentrate on the government’s efforts to battle the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as well as programs to assist sectors that were gravely hit by the economic fallout brought about by the pandemic.

Avisado revealed that the government has already spent some P355.67 billion for its COVID-19 response; around P247.21-billion of which was sourced from “pooled savings.”

The government is expecting to spend more money amid the pandemic.

Avisado said they are eyeing to conduct an executive budget review in July before submitting the proposal to the Office of the President on the day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), which is scheduled every fourth Monday of July.

The proposed budget may be submitted to Congress by the second week of August. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DBM, pinahahanap ng dagdag na pondo para sa ikalawang bugso ng cash aid – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   May 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Inatasan na ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang Department of Budget and Management (DB M) na humanap ng dagdag na pondo para sa pamamahagi ng ikalawang bugso ng government cash aid sa ilalim ng Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, inutusan na ng pangulo si DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado na gumawa ng listahan ng mga ahensiyang maaaring pagkunan ng kinakailangang pondo para sa second tranche ng SAP.

Nasa 18 milyong mahihirap na pamilya sa bansa ang unang target na mabigyan ng ayuda sa ilalim ng government emergency subsidy program.

Aabot sa P205 milyon ang inilaang pondo para sa programa, batay sa nakasaad sa Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Ngunit matapos ang pamamahagi ng unang batch ng pinansiyal na ayuda, nadagdagan pa ng limang milyon ang bilang ng pamilya na humihingi ng tulong mula sa pamahalaan dahil sa matinding hirap na dinaranas sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

Inaprubahan na ng pangulo ang dagdag na benepisyaryo ng programa kaya’t kailangan ngayon ng pamahalaan ng dagdag na pondo para tustusan ito.

“Inaatasan niya si DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado, suriin niya ang mga budgetary allocations ng line agencies. Tingnan kung magkano ang pwedeng ma-realign dahil nais niya sana kung pwedeng bigyan lahat ng 23 million families ng ayuda ng 2nd tranche din,” ani Roque.

Una nang inamin ng administrasyong Duterte na paubos na ang pondo ng pamahalaan para sa COVID-19 response at hindi pa tiyak kung saan kukunin ang perang ipang-aayuda sa mga labis na naapektuhan ng krisis.

Nanawagan na rin ang pangulo sa liderato ng Kongreso na tumulong sa paghahanap ng pondo para sa mga programa ng gobyerno. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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