MANILA Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday said the funding for the construction of Bahay Pag-asa (BPA) centers could be sourced from the alleged "insertion" in the budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
In a radio interview, Sotto said the bicameral conference committee could realign the billions worth of additional funds inserted into the DILG allocation for 2019 to finance the creation of child-caring reform centers.
It was earlier reported that some PHP27.7 billion was placed into the DILG budget without the agency's knowledge.
May PHP21 billion na hindi alam ng DILG Sec. kung ano ang ginagawa sa budget niya. So kinut (cut) namin, sa bicam puwede na talaga ilagay yun don (There is some PHP21 billion that the DILG Sec is not aware of in his budget. So we cut this, and the bicam could realign this to [fund Bahay Pag-asa]), Sotto said.
Sotto proposed that the funding of Bahay Pag-asa centers be transferred to the national government's control.
The present law mandates local government units to allocate 1 percent of their internal revenue allotment for programs and youth care facilities catering to children at risk and in conflict with the law.
Kasi gusto nga natin gawin sa bill na ilagay sa national na, wag na sa local, therefore kailangan paghandaan namin. Eh kung maipasa next week yun pagkatapos wala naman pondo ay di mamumuti mga mata natin, eh di masisisi pa kami di ba (What we want to do is transfer it to the national level, therefore we should prepare. What if it's passed next week and there's no funds we will be waiting for nothing and we will be blamed for it), Sotto said.
The Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 (Republic Act 9344) calls for the operation of at least 114 BPAs - one for each province and highly urbanized city. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency