Panelo mulls creation of agency to check districts’ needs

MANILA Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday suggested the creation of an agency to check the needs of districts nationwide amid allegations of insertions in the PHP3.757-trillion proposed national budget for 2019.

The only mechanism that I have thought about is siguro lumikha tayo ng bagong departamento para ang trabaho lang sa buong Pilipinas ay titingnan kung ano ang pangangailangan ng bawat distrito (perhaps to create a new department which job is to check the needs of each district nationwide), Panelo said over dzMM.

Kasi sa ngayon, ang nangyayari iba-iba ang nagrerekumenda parang ang dami. So, the opportunity for graft and corruption ay marami din(Because now, there are too many making recommendations. So, there is also more opportunity for graft and corruption), he added.

Panelo, however, clarified that he was only floating a suggestion as a lawyer and Filipino citizen noting that a single agency to determine districts' needs would guarantee immediate accountability.

Perhaps it's better that we have a department created by the executive, whose function would be just go over the country and look what exactly are the requirements of every district and then recommend, so that the accountability will be only one, Panelo said.

Unlike now, we don't know where it's coming from. You know, finger pointing is all over. While if you have only one entity that will decide, so the accountability will be falling on that particular office,' that's only a suggestion. I was just floating the idea during the interview, he added.

Panelo made this suggestion after House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. claimed that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno allowed the insertion of some PHP75 billion worth of projects in the proposed 2019 budget without the knowledge of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Diokno insisted that that the amount cannot be considered insertions because they were intentionally augmented and part of the budget process.

Panelo earlier said that the executive branch will conduct a probe on alleged insertions in the proposed 2019 budget following claims of corruption. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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