Cayetano defends proposed P1.6-B budget hike for House
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday defended the call of his colleague to increase the House of Representatives’ proposed P14 billion budget for 2020 by P1.6 billion.
In a speech at an event of the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc., Cayetano branded as “fake news” a blogger’s claim that the P1.6 billion would be used for the House’s additional eight deputy speakers.
“For the past two days, may mga nangungulit about, actually fake news ‘yung nasa isang blogger na sinabi niyang we added 1.6-billion for the 22 deputy speakers. We used to have 14 deputy speakers, we now have 22. If we’re going to add 1.6-billion for additional eight deputy speakers, that’s 200-M for [each] deputy speaker. Ayoko naman singilin ‘yon sa spouse ninyo. Nasaan ‘yung 200-million para sa distrito, para sa mga tao kung maniniwala ka doon?” Cayetano said.
(For the past two days, some are pressing about, actually, that was fake news, what was posted by a blogger who said we added 1.6-billion for the 22 deputy speakers. We used to have 14 deputy speakers, we now have 22. If we’re going to add 1.6-billion for additional 8 deputy speakers, that’s 200 million for [each] deputy speaker. I don’t want to charge it to your spouse. Where’s 200-million for the district, for the people if you believe that?)
The Taguig-Pateros representative said the additional fund would be used to enhance the chamber’s research capabilities; meet the requirement for the new Salary Standardization Law; improve the facilities of the House and to fund additional committees like the oversight committee on the flagship programs and projects, and special panel on persons with disability; and additional vice-chairmen of the appropriations and ways and means panels.
Cayetano took a swipe at the blogger for not verifying his information.
“Ang problema sa blogger na ‘to, aside from an axe to grind sa akin, hindi man lang tiningnan ‘yung actual records ng Congress or ‘yung news,” he said.
(The problem with this blogger, aside from an axe to grind against me, he did not even check actual records of Congress or contents of news.)
The former senator specified that they would be partnering with the University of the Philippines to improve the House’s research arm.
Cayetano also assured that they would be accountable in utilizing the additional fund.
“So, what’s one-billion na idadagdag mo sa (that will be added to) Congress to make sure that the 4.1-trillion is spent very well? So, let me just assure you that you will see a different kind of House of Representatives, one that is very accountable… (and without) corruption,” he added.
It was Cavite 8th District Rep. Abraham Tolentino, chair of accounts panel, who pushed last Friday for the additional P1.6 billion fund for the House before the chamber approved on final reading the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020.
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