Belmonte calls for creation of Congress body to review alleged funds misuse
MANILA, Philippines –House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Monday urged the House of Representatives committee on rules to study the creation of a public accounts and audit committee amid scandals involving Congress over the alleged pillaging of public funds.
During his speech at the opening of the 16th Congress’ second regular session, Belmonte said such a committee would have jurisdiction on the “accounts of local government agencies, local government units, government-owned and -controlled corporations, and other government instrumentalities for the use of public funds.”
This committee would also “undertake legislative actions to improve transparency of government operations,” Belmonte said.
“Resting on the power of the legislative oversight, I am directing the committee on rules to study the creation of a public accounts and audit committee,” Belmonte said as he opened the second regular session.
The Speaker made the statement amid public outcry over the pork barrel scam which has tainted the integrity of both the lower and upper chambers of Congress.
Some 16 incumbent members of the chamber were tagged in Janet Lim-Napoles’ list of lawmakers who allegedly benefited from the scam, while three senators have been detained as they face graft and plunder charges over their alleged involvement in the scam.
Belmonte said he had reviewed Commission on Audit reports and found out that most of audit recommendations were not implemented or only partially implemented.
“These are the possible misuse of public funds and inefficient public spending,” Belmonte said.
Belmonte made the speech on the day of President Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address.
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