Lacson says ‘institutional amendments’ to 2019 nat’l budget not ‘pork’
MANILA, Philippines – “Institutional amendments” to the proposed 2019 national budget could not be called “pork barrel” as long as it was requested and properly-vetted by government agencies, Senator Panfilo Lacson explained Monday.
According to Lacson, the bicameral conference committee (bicam) on the proposed 2019 national budget could still receive and approve amendments, “As long as nanggaling sa ahensya at kumpleto ang planning, may consultation (it came from the agency and with complete planning, in consultation to) national government agencies concerned.
“It should go through proper consultation para ma-vet ng ahensya na mag-implement (so the implementing agency could vet). Otherwise, magiging unused ‘yan (it will become unused),” added Lacson, a member of the bicam.
The bicam has agreed to “re-prioritize” some portions of the proposed budget, which the Senate has branded as an “institutional amendment” and “not pork.”
The Senate-House conference has temporarily set the amount to be “re-prioritized” at P50 billion from the total P3.8 trillion budget.
The Senate on Monday held a caucus to discuss the amendments they would allow in the 2019 national budget.
Lacson said they will defend the amendments they want to be included.
“Ang naging usapan (What was agreed was), we retreat to our house, they go back to their house. Mag-consensus sila (They come up with a consensus), mag-consensus kami (we come up with out consensus). Ano ba ang i-a-allow naming individual amendments? Kung tingin namin ‘di dapat ma-adopt sa budget kasi obviously hindi institutional (What should we allow as individual amendments? Whether we think it shouldn’t be adopted because obviously it’s not institutional),” he noted.
Lacson clarified that no definite amount was set on how much amendments they would accept because they would scrutinize each proposed amendment.
The senator, however, said amendments should be needs-based.
“Kailangan talaga ayusin (It really should be planned) based on needs and priorities of the districts. Kasi kung ‘di kailangan ng distrito at papagawa mo ng kalsada, paano mo implement yan? Walang planning (Because if the district doesn’t need it and you would construct a road, how can you implement that? No planning,” he pointed out. /kga
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