Magsaysay withdraws motion questioning quorum at budget deliberationsBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — Zambales Representative Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay on Thursday night withdrew her motion questioning the presence of a quorum at the deliberations of the proposed P2.006 trillion national budget.
She earlier questioned the Department of Budget and Management why her pork barrel was being withheld, grilling newly confirmed Transportation and Communications chief Joseph Emilio Abaya who sponsored the DBM funding at the plenary.
Magsaysay, the deputy minority leader, said that it was the constituents of lawmakers who do not receive their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) who suffer. She said that Abaya’s reason of political realities and the discretion of the executive branch were “too vague.”
“I can’t use that to explain that to my constituents why my PDAF has not been released,” said Magsaysay who suggested that the budget be amended to no longer contain funding for districts of lawmakers who do not receive their pork barrel.
But Abaya maintained that he would not amend the proposed P2.006 trillion national budget.
Seemingly dissatisfied with the responses given to her query, the Zambales lawmaker moved to question the quorum after which session was suspended.
When session resumed it was House minority leader Danilo Suarez who spoke on behalf of Magsaysay whom he said was reconsidering her motion questioning the quorum. He later moved to terminate the debates on the DBM budget, signaling the withdrawal of Magsaysay’s motion.
Deliberations then moved on to the budget for the Department of Finance.
The House of Representatives is expected to approve the 2013 budget Thursday night.