Itemize lump sums in budget, Recto tells gov’t agencies | Inquirer News

Itemize lump sums in budget, Recto tells gov’t agencies

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:08 PM August 29, 2016

Government agencies with huge lump sums in their budgets could face scrutiny when the Senate starts its deliberations on the proposed P3.35 trillion national budget for 2017.

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said agencies that are slated to get huge unitemized allocations should expect senators “from both sides of the aisle to ask you to break down such lump sums.”

“As they say, the budget is in the details. The specifics are as important as the bottom line,” Recto said in a statement on Monday.


Breaking down “block allocations,” he said, would result in faster completion of projects and make their implementation more transparent.


Recto blamed the failure to itemize some lump sums as the “main culprit” why, he said, projects in the past—especially in the transport and education sectors—were delayed.

“In part, our recent experience with underspending was a result of the absence of a detailed listing of projects,” he said, referring to the reported P623 billion government’s underspending from 2011 to 2014.

While he admitted that “lump sums in the hundreds of billions dot the budget,” the senator said, many of these—like the P37.2 billion proposed for the Calamity Fund or the P142.3 billion recommended for the Pension and Gratuity Fund—could not be fully itemized.

“Hindi mo naman ma-pre-predict kung ilang bagyo ang darating at ilan ang mabibiktima. Sa retirement funds, hindi mo rin malalaman kung ilan, halimbawa, ang mamamatay na empleyado ng gobyerno next year,” he said.

(You can’t predict how many storms will come and how many people will be affected. With the retirement funds, you also can’t say how many, for example, government employees will die next year.)

But Recto said among the huge lump sums which “can and should be itemized” are those for classroom construction, right-of-way of national roads, social protection, and farm projects.


He noted that under Department of Education’s P542.3 billion proposed outlay next year, P118.8 billion will be for the construction, repair or purchase of “basic education facilities” such as classrooms, science laboratories, toilets, chairs, and other equipment.

“But what is there, for example, is just a one-line authorization that P109.3 billion will be for new buildings. What is ideal and proper is to give a rundown on where the buildings will be built and the cost of each,” said the senator.

Recto said one way to solve the “EDSA-like” pace in building classrooms is to list down in the national budget the names of the schools where they will be built.

The senator also cited the P36.4 billion proposed subsidy to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) as “a prime example” of a funding item which cries out for itemization.

“The NIA should be ready to explain where these irrigation systems will be built or repaired, the exact places, and the number of hectares,” he said.

On peace and order expenditures, Recto said, “it is also but right for frightened taxpayers to demand where new policemen to be hired will be assigned and new police cars will be sent.”

While commending the Department of Health’s (DOH) listing “in 27 pages of fine print the thousands of health centers and hospitals” that will be improved under the proposed P21.9 billion Health Facilities Enhancement Program, “the same itemization eludes the P16 billion medicine budget for 2017,” said the senator.

“We will demand how much each health facility will get for medicines next year and that is a very reasonable demand.”

Recto said “one vague big-ticket item,” which should also be itemized is the proposed P30 billion “Risk Management Program” under the P67.5 billion Unprogrammed Fund. JE/rga



DBM submits P3.35-T ‘budget for change’ for 2017

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.


TAGS: allocation, budget, itemize, lump sum, Ralph Recto

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.