Lacson backs tight scrutiny of 2019 budget
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday stressed that a pork-laden budget is far worse than a delayed or re-enacted one.
Lacson, in a statement said that scrutinizing the national budget to get rid of excessive, unconscionable, unreasonable and irregular appropriations is not playing partisan politics.
“Rather, I consider it a patriotic duty of every legislator who wishes to be the vanguard of good governance through conscientious spending of the Filipino people’s money,” he said.
On Monday, House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said there may be a need to “re-examine closely” the 2019 national budget due to fiscal deficit concerns.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III questioned why the alleged anomalies in the 2019 budget were being raised just now, but, added that any senator may raise the issue.
“Any senator may bring it up if he/she so wishes but it surprises me to think why the HOR did not take those issues up when (the) budget was with them,” Sotto said.
The Andaya-led House rules panel launched its probe into alleged anomalies in this year’s expenditure plan last Thursday.
Several senators, including Sotto, have defended Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno over allegations he was behind the “insertion” of a P75 billion infrastructure fund in the proposed 2019 national budget without the knowledge of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Public Works and Highways, as well congressmen whose districts would benefit from the programs.
Diokno said the P75 billion should not be called ‘insertions’ as these were ‘adjustments’ which were part of the budget process. /gsg
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