Palace: Proper use of public funds one of Aquino admin’s reforms
A day after former Sen. Panfilo Lacson claimed that lump-sum or discretionary funds could still be found in the 2015 national budget, Malacañang said the administration of President Benigno Aquino III had always been committed to the appropriate allocation and use of public funds.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma on Tuesday said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had ensured financial transparency by monitoring the state of disbursements and allotment releases to government agencies.
“Ito po ang aking pahayag: Isa sa mga mahalagang reporma na ipinatupad ni Pangulong Aquino ang tapat at tamang paggamit ng pondo ng bayan,” Coloma said in a press briefing. “Ito ay nakabatay sa napapanahong pagpasa ng pambansang budget na naipatupad taun-taon simula noong 2011.”
In a speech before the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants at Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City on Monday, Lacson said he and his team discovered lump-sum appropriations amounting to P424 billion in the national budget while they were reviewing the 2015 General Appropriations Act.
“To date … we have already discovered a total of P424 billion worth of lump-sum appropriations, aka discretionary funds, parked in the budget of just 11 of the 21 major line agencies of the national government. Hold your breath. It is still counting.”
Coloma said the budget transactions of government agencies could be publicly accessed through the DBM website.
“Mayroon silang talaan ng status of allotment releases at status of disbursements, at report on utilization of cash allocation. Sa ganitong paraan, ipinababatid sa mga mamamayan ang lahat ng pinaglaanan ng pondo na nakapaloob sa pambansang budget,” he said.
Coloma said the budget that government agencies receive were being based on the monthly and quarterly financial reports that they submit to the DBM.
“Ang bawat kagawaran at ahensiya ay nagsusumite ng monthly at quarterly reports sa DBM at ang mga ulat na ito ang batayan para makatanggap ng pondo para sa susunod na buwan,” he said, adding that all budget transactions of government agencies were being checked by the Commission on Audit, which had the authority to issue notices of suspension or disallowance in case of questionable use.
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