Lacson traces possible ‘pork’ in 2020 budget not from House, but from NEP | Inquirer News

Lacson traces possible ‘pork’ in 2020 budget not from House, but from NEP

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 06:20 PM November 04, 2019

MANILA , Philippines— The 2020 national budget may have contained “pork” after all, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Monday.

But Lacson clarified that the “pork” might have been placed during the preparations of the budget, before it was transmitted to the House of Representatives.

“Not from the House. Nasa NEP yung mga lump sum na nakita namin (The lump sums that we saw was in the NEP),” he said in a text message, referring to the National Expenditure Program.


Lacson made this new claim just a day after saying that the House-approved budget did not contain “pork barrel” already declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.


READ: SC declares PDAF unconstitutional

While there was no pork in the House version, the senator though noted that P20-billion parked allocations were in the budget.

He said P14 billion was parked in the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) budget while a total of P6.5 billion allocations were lodged under the Assistance to local government units (LGUs) or ALGU.

The P6.5 billion is composed of a P4 billion budget described as “Other Financial Assistance to local government units (LGUs)” and another P2.5 billion was described as “Assistance to Cities.”

Unlike other items such as Assistance to Provinces and Municipalities, the two ALGU fundings were not itemized.

“Sa budget call, DILG ang nag-de-defend. Pero ang ALGU, medyo unique ito because there are 5 items na ang iba, under DILG pero ang iba under DBM,” Lacson explained.


(It’s the DILG that defends the budget call. But the ALGU is quite unique because there are 5 items where some are under the DILG but some are under the DBM)

DILG is the Department of the Interior and Local Government while DBM is Department of Budget and Management.

“And DBM, as we know, is not an implementing agency. Bakit magkakaroon ng P4B naka-lodge dun sa Special Purpose Fund under the care of DBM and another P2.5B described as Assistance to Cities na nasa DBM din?”

(And DBM as we know is not an implementing agency. Why would there be P4B lodged in the Special Purpose Fund under the care of DBM and another P2.5B described as Assistance to Cities that is also with DBM?)

The senator said he would clarify this when the Senate tackles the budget on the floor.

Asked if the parking of funds violates the SC ruling, Lacson said: “That’s what we’re saying.”

“Ang definition lang kasi ng mga congressman ng pork is post-legislation or naka-lump sum siya, hindi pa defined kasi naka-lump sum na P200M o P70M whichever is the case pero walang description.”

(The only definition of congressmen is that pork is post-legislation or it is a lump sum, it’s not yet defined that it was a lump sum P200M or P70M whichever in that case but it has no description.)

“In this case naka-park ito as lump sum and tama, that’s also considered pork as per SC ruling. Mayroon pang ruling ang SC pagka it amounts to abuse of discretion pork pa rin yan. Kasi kung lump sum, subject ito sa abuse of discretion. Pareho ang kahihinatnan noon,” he further said.

(In this case, it was parked as a lump sum and correct, that’s also considered pork as per SC ruling. The SC has another ruling that if it amounts to an abuse of discretion, that’s still pork. Because it’s a lump sum, it’s subject t abuse of discretion. The result is also the same)

Lacson though admitted there is no way to find out who made the parked items in the NEP.

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“Kasi (Because) that’s between several congressmen and the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) kung paano nakapasok yun (how it was inserted),” he said.

TAGS: budget, Philippines, Pork, Senate

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