Lawmaker questions alleged bias toward budgets of DND, DILG
A lawmaker questioned the alleged preference of Malacañang toward funding programs of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio aired his concern during the House Committee on Appropriations hearing for DND’s budget on Wednesday.
“Mukhang while on the one hand, sinasabi ng DBM [Department of Budget and Management] na i-implement nila throughout all government departments and agencies ang cash-based budgeting pero apparently, may exemption,” Tinio said.
“Yung director mismo ang nagsabi na upon presidential instruction,” he added.
Tinio asked why the budget of DILG and DND became higher even with the new cash-based budgeting system, which the DBM cites as the reason for a lower budget for other departments such as the Department of Education (DepEd).
When he asked DBM Director Amanella Arevalo, she answered that some of the items in the budget were based on “presidential instruction”.
“Sa budget po ng DND, there are some items that we recommended based on the presidential instruction,” Arevalo said.
“Let’s say ‘yong activation ng CAFGU (Citizen Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit), at ‘yong creation of additional positions, some of these items but not necessarily instructed by the Office of the President,” she added.
Tinio then lamented how the Office of the President prefers funding DILG and DND instead of departments which provide social services.
“On the other hand, alam natin ang ginawa sa DepEd, binawasan ‘yong plantilla positions for new teachers for next year, binawasan ‘yong mga classrooms significantly, from 47,000 to 4,000 plus,” the lawmaker said.
He also claimed that there is a pattern with the 2019 proposed budget.
“Ang gusto ko lang po idiin dito we’re seeing a pattern here […] Despite of the cash-based budgeting which generally means a lower budget for the agencies, kasi kailangan lang ‘yong magagastos nila within the year, pero ‘yong DILG, DND, tumaas,” Tinio explained.
‘Yong cash-based budgeting, may pagka-selective din pala, and it can be overridden by presidential priorities. In this case, malinaw na priorities are military and police, internal security over basic social services,” he alleged.
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