Reduced budgets for social services, enterprises assailed
Whether it’s cash-based or obligation-based, the Makabayan bloc of party-list congressmen in the House of Representatives is rejecting President Rodrigo Duterte’s P3.76-trillion budget for 2019 because of the huge cuts in the appropriations for social services and productive enterprises.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, the congressmen called for the overhaul of the 2019 budget to provide for “substantial” increases in the appropriations for health, education, housing, support to farmers and local industries, P16,000 minimum salary, and regularization of government employees.
“We seek the abolition of presidential and congressional pork barrel. We demand cuts [in] the military war and police ‘Tokhang’ (campaign against illegal drugs) budgets, automatic debt servicing, and other graft-ridden and wasteful appropriations,” the group said in a separate statement.
The Makabayan bloc is composed of Act Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Jane Elago, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Arlene Brosas and Emmi de Jesus, and Anakpawis Rep. Ariel B. Casilao.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.