In the Spirit of Transparency: Lacson Details Proposed Institutional Amendments in 2020 Budget

Sen. Lacson proposed institutional amendments to the P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020. These include added funding for landmark programs of the administration, such as the PhilSys (National ID) program, the Universal Health Program, and free tuition. He also sought to deduct funding from programs of agencies such as the DPWH and DoTr due to their underutilization of funds, and realign them to more worthwhile projects.

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Related: Lacson Challenges Fellow Solons to Make Public Their Amendments to 2020 Budget
HIGHLIGHTS OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS…Β 

FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING:

* National ID: Increase the budget of the PSA, which will implement the National ID system, by P5.645 billion, from P1.364 billion to P7.009 billion.

* Agriculture:
1. Agripreneurship Program: add P500 million
2. National Soil Health Program: add P500 million

* Education (DepEd):
1. School-based Feeding Program: add P1 billion
– from P5.9745 billion to P6.9475 billion
2. Quick Response Fund: add P2 billion
– from P2 billion in GAB to P4 billion
– the added P2 billion to come from fund for Basic Education Facilities
3. Last Mile Schools Program (reaching out to far-flung communities): add P12 billion, as the program is substantially underfunded
– from P1.5 billion in GAB to P14.5 billion
– the added P12 billion to come from Basic Education Facilities

* State Universities and Colleges: Add P537.991 million for UPLB’s National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. “In this day and age of Artificial Intelligence and Biotechnology, we need to support BIOTECH’s continuing effort to modernize and improve its operations in accordance with its mandate.”

* Higher Education (CHED): Increase P2 billion for Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, from P43.88 billion in GAB to P45.88 billion. The increase shall be allotted to TES.

* Environment:
Environmental Pollution Research: augment monitoring and inventory of greenhouse gases of pollution laboratories in Visayas and Mindanao by P2.352 million
– add P200 million for topographic base mapping, geodetic surveys of NAMRIA
– amount to come from National Greening Program

* Health:
1. Health Facilities Enhancement Program: add P1 billion such that its allocation will be P6.8647 billion
2. Human Resource for Health: add P2 billion such that its allocation will be P11.4535 billion
3. Philippine Health Insurance Corp.: increase P4 billion from P72.353 billion in GAB to P76.292 billion

* Information and Communications Technology:
1. DICT: increase appropriations by P5.13 billion, to fund the following PAPs:
– Cooperative Broadband Access Build for underserved areas
– Managed Satellite Broadband Internet Service for far-flung areas
– Mobility Assets for 85 DICT field operations offices
2. NTC: allocate P475 million for National Emergency Communication Resiliency

* Peace and Order:Β Increase MOOE of PNP by P101.75 million, such that its allocation will be P3.7615 billion

* Muslim Filipinos: Increase appropriations of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos by P198.445 million, such that its allocation will be P843.575 million

* National Defense:
1. PVAO:
– increase appropriation for veterans benefits by P75 million
– add P11.01 million for those under contract of service
– increase appropriations for PVAO by P86.010 million
2. VMMC:
– increase approp for medicines out outpatients by P200 million
– augment appropriation for COS and JO workers by P55.056 million

* Science and Technology:
1. DOST OSEC: increase by P250 million such that the allocation will be P5.524 billion
– Science for Change Program: Niche Center in the Regions for Research and Development (NICER): increase by P50 million
– Space S&T Program: Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation and Advancement (STAMINA4Space): increase by P100 million
– Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE): P100 million

* Transportation Safety: for the Philippine Coast Guard, add P469.504 million:
– P75.07 million for PCG General Hospital
– P232.853 million for fuel for new vehicles and boats
– P140.581 million for insurance for new vessels and vehicles
– P21 million for provincial station in Basilan

* Anti-Drug War:
1. DDB: increase appropriation for the DDB’s PH Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) by P80 million, from P553.661 million in GAB to P633.661 million
2. PDEA: increase appropriations by P520 million, from P2.480 billion in GAB to P3 billion.
– this includes P200M for long firearms, P100M for protective equipment, P20M for ammo, P200M for raman spectroscopy and xrays

* Mindanao:
1. MinDA: increase funding by P36.492 million
2. SPDA: increase appropriations by P74.766 million, from P75.574 million in GAB to P150.34 million

* Peace Process:
1. Increase OPAPP PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn program by P500 million, from P492.5 million in GAB to P992.5 million
2. Increase normalization program in Bangsamoro by P1 billion from P87.732 million in GAB to P1.087 billion; decrease unprogrammed appropriations for Normalization Program by P1 billion
3. increase appropriations for OPAPP by P1.5 billion, from P1.178 billion in GAB to P2.678 billion

* Human Rights: Increase CHR budget by P105 million from P863.138 million in GAB to P968.138 million. This includes P5 million for witness assistance program, and P10 million for support to different HR awareness popularization and other IEC materials

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PROPOSED DEDUCTIONS:

1. Basic Education Facilities: Deduct P14 billion, from P19 billion in GAB to P5 billion, due to backlogs and problems in implementation. “To set aside a substantial budget for the Basic Education Facilities Program without first resolving the backlogs, and the problems in the implementation is an inefficient allocation of resources.”

2. National Greening Program: Deduct P2 billion, from P5.152 billion in GAB to P3.152 billion.

3. Health promotion: Deduct P300 million due to low obligation and disbursement rate. Of the P292.2 million for health promotion in 2019, only 51.35% was obligated and out of the obligation, only 24.38% was disbursed.

4. DPWH: Deduct P20.129 billion, including:
– P15 billion from ROW appropriations; unused appropriations of DPWH from 2011 to 2018 is P82.4B. In 2017, obligation rate was 92.1% but disbursement rate was 36.3%
– P5 billion from PPP strategic support fund, including ROW, subsidy and variations
– P129.287M from dredging, desilting projects in Manila

5. DoTR: Deduct P5 billion from Right-of-Way Acquisitions due to “significantly low” obligation rate, with inefficient management of ROW payments resulting to backlog of flagship programs.

***

OTHER AMENDMENTS:

1. Agriculture:
1. Farm to Market Road Projects: funding to be released to LGUs concerned instead of to DPWH
2. Small-scale Irrigation Projects: LGUs concerned to implement the projects, subject to the DA’s guidelines

2. National Greening Program: to be implemented by the concerned LGUs

3. DPWH: Implementation of local infrastructure programs shall be implemented by the LGUs concerned.

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