‘LGU participation in budgeting would eliminate pork barrel’
MANILA, Philippines — The practice of inserting ‘pork barrel’ funds in the country’s national budget would be eliminated if the participation of local government units (LGUs) and if a Master Development Plan is adopted, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said on Monday.
Alejano said the Master Development Plan should be done in the local government unit (LGU) level, which leaves no chance to place lump sum funds as projects are already decided and agreed upon by the lawmaker and LGU officials.
“Dapat nating paigtingin ang pagpaplano ng mga proyekto ng gobyerno sa lokal na lebel pa lamang,” Alejano said in a statement.
(We should push for the planning of government projects with local governments involved).
“Sa LGU level ay dapat napagdesisyunan na ng mga mambabatas, kasama ang lokal na pamahalaan ng kani-kanilang mga distrito, ang mga proyekto na isasama sa Master Development Plan,” he added.
(Projects should be decided on by lawmakers and LGU officials, which must be included in the Master Development Plan.)
Alejano, said that this plan would also ensure that districts badly needing projects would be given due attention.
“Kung susundin natin ang ganitong pamamaraan, lalabas na kasama na sa National Expenditure Program ang proposals ng mga representatives at senators. Sa ganitong pamamaraan din mabibigyan ng atensyon ang mga proyekto na talagang kailangan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan,” he explained.
(If we adopt this system, the proposals of lawmakers would be included in the National Expenditure Program. This way, we can pay more attention to projects badly needed by LGUs.)
He also called on the public to get involved in the budget discussions.
The passage of the 2019 national budget has been stalled since August 2018 due to alleged pork insertions.
Currently, the House and the Senate have thrown accusations against each other, due to the presence of pork — deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court — in the proposed budget.
House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro previously said that the 2019 budget may be approved on Wednesday, February 6. /gsg
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