Lacson to solons: Post online proposed budget changes
MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers should make public online their proposed amendments to the 2020 national budget to dispel the suspicion that these were tainted with pork, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday.
“We should make everything public. That includes all amendments we submit, whether institutional or individual. We have our own websites, we should use them for this purpose, as I did for the 2019 budget,” Lacson said in an interview with AM radio station DZBB.
“Most if not all lawmakers have their own websites. Why not post their amendments there, for the public to scrutinize?” he added.
The senator had lamented that, in previous years, some lawmakers submitted their amendments to the heads of their respective finance or appropriations without having them go through floor deliberations.
“Instead of having their amendments undergo scrutiny in floor deliberations, some lawmakers propose their amendments verbally, or even scribble them on napkins,” Lacson said.
In pushing for transparency in the crafting of the national budget, Lacson said the public has a right to know where their taxes would go, especially amid a growing national debt, which he noted now stands at more than P7.9 trillion.
“The national budget involves the people’s money. It should benefit the people and not a few senators or congressmen or even government officials who implement projects. And the budget is funded by our taxes, as well as borrowings if our tax collections fall short,” the senator said.
Lacson earlier said that pork could have been placed during the preparations of the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget before it was transmitted to the House of Representatives.
The senator made this clarification after he said that the House-approved budget did not contain pork barrel, which had already declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
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