Senator Panfilo M. Lacson on Wednesday moved to augment the budget of the Bureau of Immigration and the National Bureau of Investigation in an effort to boost its law enforcement assets and capabilities.
Interpellating on the proposed budget of the Department of Justice, Lacson suggested sourcing the additional budget for the two agencies from the cancelled allocation for the construction of a new hall of justice for the city of Manila worth P400 million and the P33 million slash from the budget of the Office of the Secretary of Justice.
The budget cuts were made during the committee hearings on the General Appropriations Bill for 2012.
“In the President’s budget message, it was mentioned that the facilities and equipment of the NBI crime laboratories and forensic investigation will be modernized and upgraded,” Lacson, a former law enforcer himself, said in justifying his proposal.
Lacson noted that the BI and NBI budget – P461 million and P842 million, respectively – were measly compared to the budget allocations of the Philippine National Police and the AFP.
He said although the work force of the PNP and AFP are much bigger, funds for the BI and NBI should at least be at par and the additional allocation be commensurate to the number of their personnel and its official functions.
Senator Franklin Drilon, finance committee chairman and sponsor of the budget legislation, said the door is still open for specific amendments granting more funds to the BI and the NBI.
On the budget of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Lacson inquired on the legal basis used by the National Police Commission to arrogate upon themselves the function of managing funds generated from trust receipts issued by the PNP.
He said it was very unusual for the NAPOLCOM to dip its hands on the trust receipts income of the PNP.