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Ping Lacson targets budget ‘fat’

By: - Correspondent / @yzsoteloINQ
/ 02:00 AM May 24, 2015
FORMER Sen. Panfilo Lacson, during an April 24 visit to Baguio City, said the Constitution should not be amended for the sole purpose of adapting to the conditions reached in peace talks. He has since gone on an advocacy to trim down the national budget for the benefit of local government units. VINCENT CABREZA/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

FORMER Sen. Panfilo Lacson, during an April 24 visit to Baguio City, said the Constitution should not be amended for the sole purpose of adapting to the conditions reached in peace talks. He has since gone on an advocacy to trim down the national budget for the benefit of local government units. VINCENT CABREZA/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Former Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the government can increase the budgets for 1,490 towns and 144 cities by trimming what he believed is an excessively fattened national purse.

Lacson met local officials here on Friday and informed them of an excess P500 billion in financial allocations each year, which, he said, could be plowed down to local governments.

He said the amount would mean towns and cities would be getting an average of P300 million each, depending on their needs and capacity to absorb projects.

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The P500 billion would come from the regular budgets of departments and agencies, special-purpose fund and automatic appropriations, which, when removed, won’t impair their operations, he said.

Lacson said he has been touring the provinces to determine how people feel about his intention to run for president in 2016.

“When I become president, I will be the one to implement the program. If not and I become a senator, I will continue with the advocacy [to trim the fat off the national budget]. The difference is when I go to Senate, I am just one voice (but) when I become the president, I will be the one to implement. That is the big difference,” he said.

According to Lacson, he has become “more practical” now about his presidential ambition, unlike during his failed 2004 bid.

“In 2004, I was passionate. I wanted to serve. (I wanted) to be president. Now I am more practical. If I can feel the pulse of the people that (presidency) is not for me, why should I go for it? But I will continue the advocacy that the excess budget would go down to the localities,” he told reporters.

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TAGS: 2016 election, budget, Ping Lacson, Politics
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