As he sponsored the proposed PhP7.72-billion budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Sen. Lacson pushed for additional funding for the agency in 2020, saying its initial budget was smaller than the pork barrel of a legislator.
QUOTES and NOTES:
Breakdown of DICT’s 2020 Budget:
The DICT’s proposed 2020 budget includes:
* P6.863 billion for the Office of the Secretary
* P11.261 million for the Cyber-Crime Investigation and Coordination Center
* P229.596 million for the National Privacy Commission
* P615.778 million for the National Telecommunications Commission
‘Mas malaki ang pork ng isang congressman (sa DICT budget)’:
Sen. Lacson lamented the DICT’s 2020 budget in the NEP was a paltry P3.674 billion, smaller than the pork barrel of at least one legislator.
“Malaki pa po ang pork barrel ng isang congressman na alam ko kesa budget ng buong DICT. In fact 0.13% lang ng P4.1-trillion budget ang kanilang budget. Yet ito ang nakakatulong ng malaki sa pag-asenso ng Pilipinas. So what we did sa Senate version nagdagdag kaya umabot maski papano P7.7 bilyon,” he said.
Lacson cited a special provision where proceeds from the Spectrum User Fee can be used to boost the DICT’s budget. The Spectrum User Fee amounted to P2.365B in 2017 and P3.785B in 2018.
On the other hand, Lacson said the DBM set a cap on the DICT of P1.4B to P1.8B. “For 2020 we would again propose the amendment of that special provision para magamit naman nila sa spectrum user fee.”
Lacson said they have recommended increasing the budget to P29B so DICT can implement programs such as the e-government program. He cited the efficiency of e-government that translated to $20M savings in South Korea.
“We are really far, far behind; that is why we are appealing to this body to at least augment some more the budget for DICT… Additional P23B ang kailangan nila, kaya lang mahirap ibigay.”