Lacson to scrutinize P55-B alleged ‘pork’ in 2019 budget
Senator Panfilo Lacson assured on Tuesday that he would chase the alleged P55-billion worth of “pork barrel” stuck in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.
Lacson said he is somehow thankful about the reported ruckus in the House of Representatives on Monday, which was a supposed effort to remove the pork in the budget.
Earlier, reports revealed that Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. allegedly urged Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, to sign a document that would cut funds from some lawmakers’ pet projects by P55 billion.
“Oo, nagawa namin ito noong 2016. May P8.3 billion na na-identify (Yes, we were able to do it in 2016. We identified P8.3 billion as pork),” he told dzRH when asked if he will run after the supposed pork once it reaches the Senate Committee on Finance.
According to Lacson, these funds from 2016 were then allocated for the free tuition in state universities and colleges, which was still not a law by that time.
Another P86 billion was spotted in the 2017 budget, he said.
Lacson also revealed that even during budget amendments, an announcement would circulate among lawmakers on the amount of pork they will receive.
“Maski pagdating ng period of amendment talagang may announcement na ‘O lahat ng mambabatas sa Kongreso may tig-100 o 120. Mga senador may tig-300,’” he said.
(Even when the period of amendment comes, there is really an announcement that “All lawmakers in the Congress have 100 or 120 each. Senators have 300 each.”)
Before the alleged shouting match in the House of Representatives, Lacson had earlier warned that billions of pesos were hidden in the proposed 2019 budget.
He said that pork barrel never left the government even after the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 2013. /jpv
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