Fellow solons echo Salceda: No pork in 2020 budget
MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers from the House of the Representatives have echoed the assertions of Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda that there is no pork in the proposed 2020 budget.
Minority Floor Leader and Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. said on Wednesday that the P100 million budget given to lawmakers — P70 million for infrastructure projects and P30 million for soft projects — cannot be manipulated because of the inline mode of budgeting.
“Alam niyo even if, for example, may P100 million, if it is not within the inline budgeting, wala rin maaaring mangyari […] In reality, syempre marami ring congressman ang nagko-complain kasi very little amount of money in their own district,” Abante said during a press briefing at the House of Representatives.
“Right now, wala nang magagawa doon because of the inline budgeting. The congressman has the right to be able to identify, but not to put in the money for him, which becomes pork kung yun talaga ang gagawin,” he added.
Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando also made the same remarks.
“Congress can cut (the budget), but cannot add,” he said.
Earlier, Salceda said that every House member will be given P100 million, but these were already itemized in the National Expenditure Program (NEP). He claimed that lawmakers propose projects to the Executive branch, who then crafts the national budget.
Abante supported Salceda’s claims, saying that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has been in charge of noting and accounting their proposed projects.
“Wala na talagang pork. Ang DPWH na ang nag-eestimate, lahat ng dapat ilagay sa bawat distrito,” Abante said.
“I can propose if I want to, pero you know, we’re not even allowed to make an amendment on the floor. So because nakalagay na doon sa inline budgeting, sa NEP,” he added.
Concerns about pork in the budget started in the creation of the 2019 budget, as it was revealed that then-proposed General Appropriations Act had several pork insertions in it. /je
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