Reenacted budget means reenacted zero allocations – solon
MANILA, Philippines — Districts that got zero allocations in the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) could meet the same fate if the government continues to operate on a reenacted budget, Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. said Monday.
“Wala ring budget kasi reenacted eh (districts with zero budget last year would also have zero budget this year if we have a reenacted budget),” Pichay said in a media briefing.
But the Arroyo ally said this would not happen as he was “very confident” that Congress would pass the proposed P3.8 trillion national budget by Wednesday, their last session they before going to an election break.
“We still have three days, I’m sure that by Wednesday we will be able to ratify the bicam report I’m very confident on that,” he said.
In 2017, some opposition lawmakers critical of the administration got zero allocation in the 2018 GAA allegedly upon the directive of ousted House Speaker, Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
In August 2018, or a month after Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took Alvarez’s post, the former president assured that no district would get zero allocation under the 2019 national expenditure plan.
Meanwhile, Pichay said House appropriations panel chair and Camarines Sur 1st District Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr.’s request that the Senate itemize their amendments to the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) and that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno give a report on government savings in 2018, should not be “tied up” to the approval of this year’s spending bill.
READ: Reenacted budget looms over pork
Pichay further said amendments to the GAB should not be given malice, saying it’s part of the budget process.
“You don’t call it insertions, these are amendments because the GAA is a law, it’s passed every year. It’s not a crime to amend provisions in the GAA. Kung gusto mo magdagdag dito, magdagdag. Provided that both houses agree. Wala namang problema ‘yan I don’t see why they’re trying to put malice sa amendments,” the lawmaker explained.
“Kung maka-insert ako ng P10 billiion, my constituents would be proud of me dahil marami kaming programa, services and infrastructure na madadala sa distrito. There’s nothing wrong with that so sana nga madagdagan ako eh so my people would be happy eh, mag-eeleksyon na,” Pichay, who is seeking reelection in the May elections, added. /cbb
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