‘Pork-ridden’ 2020 budget complies with Duterte orders, says House leader | Inquirer News

‘Pork-ridden’ 2020 budget complies with Duterte orders, says House leader

By: - Correspondent / @melvingasconINQ
/ 04:40 AM December 14, 2019

Attempts by some sectors to label the 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) as “pork-ridden” are unfair and misleading, as it has complied with the directives of President Duterte on having a “clean” budget next year, House appropriations chair and Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab said on Friday.

In a statement, Ungab claimed that the proposed 2020 budget “contains no pork, no last-minute insertions and no parked funds.”


“All changes made in the GAB were aligned with the President’s priorities and were based on the recommendations of the Cabinet departments and other government agencies,” he said.

Ungab made the statement in reaction to Malacañang’s pronouncement on Thursday that Mr. Duterte is inclined to veto any budgetary item that he finds unconstitutional.This developed after Sen. Panfilo Lacson revealed that he has so far found P16.3 billion worth of last-minute insertions in the P4.1-trillion GAB for next year, which both Houses of Congress separately ratified on Wednesday.


Among the proposed projects questioned by Lacson are the flood control projects in Sorsogon, Albay and Compostela Valley provinces.

Inserted projects

Other inserted projects with “scant” details include the P30-million concreting and widening of roads in Isabela, and P40 million for road projects in Pampanga.

He said all changes made in the GAB were aligned with the President’s priorities, and were based on recommendations from the departments and other government agencies.

“Both Houses ratified the budget bill. The representatives of both the Senate and House agreed on the amendments to, and final version of, the 2020 GAB at the bicameral conference committee,” Ungab said.“The budget process was undertaken with utmost transparency,” he added.

However, he did not give a response when asked why the chairs of both panels had to reconcile behind closed doors the conflicting provisions in the Senate and House versions of the budget.

Ungab expressed dismay that critics keep changing the definition of “pork barrel.”

“The Supreme Court has already declared pork barrel funds as unconstitutional and clearly defined what constitutes pork. The 2020 budget is pork-free,” he said, but without disputing point-by-point Lacson’s assertions.


He said the proposed 2020 budget is a “powerful tool” that will help deliver Mr. Duterte’s goal of a “safe and comfortable life for all.”

He said the proposed budget represents the 2020 vision of the President and his economic strategy.

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TAGS: 2020 General Appropriations Bill, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, Rodrigo Duterte
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