Zubiri, Marcos cold to Senate adopting House-approved budget
MANILA, Philippines — At least two senators were cold to a colleague’s proposal to just adopt the House of Representatives’ version of the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget next year.
“Malabong mangyari yun kasi marami sa ating mga kasamahan meron din silang institutional amendments,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said in an interview at the Senate on Monday.
(That may not happen because many of our colleagues also have their own institutional amendments)
Zubiri said he himself plans to propose an additional budget for certain government agencies such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos and the Pamana fund under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
“So may individual amendments din kami na (we also have individual amendments that) we call institutional amendments, which we will defend on the floor anyway, which I feel are also equally important,” he said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier floated the possibility of the Senate adopting the House-approved budget after confirming that the lower chamber only realigned P9.5 billion to certain agencies.
Lacson said the House version had no “pork barrel” but noted that some P20 billion had been “parked” in the budget of some agencies.
Senator Imee Marcos, meanwhile, believes the Senate should exercise its mandate of scrutinizing the national budget.
“Alam naman nyo hindi naman maipagkakaila, ang problem talaga ‘pag nasa local ka o di kaya sa distrito, abalang-abala ka dun sa distrito mo pero importante na gampanan rin ng Senate ang aming papel na yung pangkalahatang overview, at least my national vision tayo,” Marcos said in a separate interview.
(The problem really if you’re in the district is that you’re busy with your constituents but it’s important that the Senate continue to do its role of providing an overview, at least we have a national vision.)
“Ok yung parochial, I’m very very respectful of parochial concerns kasi nanggaling ako dyan pero (because I’ve been there) at the same time may kelangang nagtitimon sa itaas na nakikita lahat so kailangang suriin din talaga ng Senado (there’s a need for the Senate to scrutinize this),” she added.
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