Lacson: NEP contains huge allocations for congressmen’s districts
MANILA, Philippines– Huge allocations, including a P500 million funding for one legislative district, have been included in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) even before the proposed budget for next year was submitted to Congress.
Senator Panfilo Lacson made this new revelation on Saturday.
It was House Speaker Alan Cayetano, who earlier said that the 2020 national budget contained a P500 million allocation per congressional district although his office quickly clarified that it was not “pork.”
“May mga nakita na nga ako dun. Ayoko na lang magbanggit ng mga distrito pero may mga malalaking budget na nakalagak sa kanya-kanyang mga distrito e…” Lacson said in a phone patch interview with Senate reporters.
(I’ve already seen some there. I just don’t want to mention any district but there are huge budgets allotted in their respective districts)
“Hindi naman makakaila yan kasi papel yan e, nakasulat yan e. Kasi pagka itinanggi nila na walang pork, e kita ko na kung anong mga distrito, ang lalaki e,” he added.
(That cannot be denied because there are papers, it was recorded. Because if they denied there’s no pork, I saw already what districts have huge allocations)
He said he would reveal all the details when the Senate starts its floor deliberations on the budget.
Pressed to provide a glimpse of these huge allocations, Lacson said, “Well, sa isang distrito mayroong P300M. Mayroon lugar na may P500M. May mga ganun.”
(Well, one district has P300M. There is one area with P500M)
The senator pointed out that the huge allocations were already at the NEP when the budget was transmitted to Congress.
“Apparently, pumasok na yun sa National Expenditure Program. Ibig sabihin nun, bago pa man na isumite ng Presidente sa House yung NEP, nakapasok na sila dun,” he said.
(Apparently, it was already there in the National Expenditure Program. It means that even before the NEP was submitted to the House, it was there already)
“So apparently pinatawag nila yung, o nakipagpulong na sila sa mga agency e para ibigay na yung kanilang mga gustong ipasok dun.”
(So apparently, they had already met with the agencies to get what they want to be in the budget)
There is an assumption though that the concerned agencies had already scrutinized the congressmen’s budget for their projects, said the senator.
This was not the first time that Lacson had alleged that that budget proposal contained in the NEP was pork-laden.
While saying that the House of Representatives’ version of the budget bill was pork-free, the senator claimed that the P20 billion “parked” allocations in the NEP were lump sums and thus, can be considered pork. /muf
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