MANILA Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday lauded President Rodrigo R. Duterte's decision to veto PHP95.3-billion worth of appropriations in the 2019 national budget.
If there is one act of PRRD that is worthy of admiration, this veto message is on top of my list. With his guts, glory comes to the Filipino taxpayers, Lacson said in a Twitter post.
He said the vetoed infrastructure funding would result in savings of PHP19.06 billion.
Simple math tells us this: PHP95.3B x 20 percent (pork commission) equals PHP19.06B savings from our hard earned tax money, the senator said.
The vetoed items were appropriations in the details of the Department of Public Works and Highways' programs or projects, which according to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, were not within the programmed priorities.
Lacson, in a separate statement, expressed confidence that the 2019 budget is now pork free.
He said the Senate leadership ensured that the bill has undergone tough scrutiny by the Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office before it submitted a list of questionable items to the Department of Budget and Management.
The economic team in turn promised to go over the list, and more with a fine-tooth comb, including individual insertions made by some senators amounting to at least PHP20B, he added.
The senator expressed hope that MalacaAang has just started a new pattern of cleansing the annual budget measure until pork allocations become extinct.
It is about time that the national budget should become responsive to the needs and priorities of the countryside and attain the inclusive growth that has eluded past administrations, mainly because resources have always been concentrated in the urban areas or where legislators have whimsically allocated their pork sans proper planning, and even without consultation at least with the implementing agencies, Lacson said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency