To the Manila Standard: It is quite pathetic that Mr. Olivar, instead of helping his former boss clear up the issue of pork in the 2019 budget, chose the path of his fellow talking heads by hurling personal innuendos at the Senator to muddle the issue.
Dahil mulat na ang publiko sa pag-abuso sa kaban ng bayan bunga ng patuloy na pag-iral ng pork barrel sa mga mambabatas, lumilinaw na ang pag-asang magamit ang pondong napupunta sa mga ito sa tama at dapat na pagkagastusan.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, itutuloy niya ang kanyang krusada laban sa pork barrel at ang susunod na yugto nito ay ang kampanyang masunod ang tamang budget process upang matukoy ang mga prayoridad ng pagkakalooban ng pondo.
“It is high time we eliminate the obvious disconnect between the needs and priorities of the countryside local government units and the expenditure program at the national level, due to the absence of consultations,” banggit ni Lacson.
After seeing some progress this year, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is eyeing more headway against “pork” and other flaws in the warped budgeting process that has allowed it to thrive.
Lacson said making sure the budgeting process is followed properly will prevent “pork” by having district representatives in Congress take part in planning at the local level, instead of inserting projects after Malacanang has already submitted its version of the budget – the National Expenditure Program – to Congress.
“It is high time we eliminate the obvious disconnect between the needs and priorities of the countryside local government units and the expenditure program at the national level, due to the absence of consultations,” Lacson said.
“Because of this disconnect, district representatives – instead of attending and participating in the formulation of local development plans within their districts, where they are members of the Local Development Councils – opt to arbitrarily make insertions during the authorization phase, without due regard to the needs and priorities of the LGUs within their districts,” he added.
“As the abolished “pork barrel” shows itself anew, dynamic and changeable; resounds in the halls of our country’s legislature; and speaks of the insatiability of corruption, how can one, in good conscience, not see, hear, and speak of it?” – Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, in his privilege speech on Feb. 8, 2019
Mr. President, I rise before you on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
“To See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.”
Mr. President, put literally, this proverbial adage serves as an age-old directive for dealing with impropriety — by looking the other way, refusing to hear and speak out, and feigning ignorance when something wrong is unfolding.
Sen. Legarda did not actually present what she and Rep. Andaya have agreed upon in the small group bicam. She merely articulated to the best of her recollection what the bicam report would be presented for ratification.
Basically, yes, the P160 million per House member plus the billion-peso insertions made by a number of their colleagues, and the P23-billion Department of Public Works and Highways insertions by a number of senators plus other insertions in different agencies have all been retained.
Sadly, no matter how hard I argued last night, I only have one vote although I have good reason to believe that some like-minded colleagues are supportive of deleting all pork insertions, particularly the excessive and unconscionable realignments made not only by our House counterpart, but by a number of our colleagues as well.
On a positive note, all appropriations for flood control, particularly dredging, desilting and the like have been deleted to be realigned to capital outlay for purchase of dredging machines. Also, the Department of Health realignment that the Senate introduced and most of my institutional amendments have been retained, like the 240-day-a-year school feeding program for wasted and nearly wasted school children, additional allowance for teachers, some appropriations cover for laws passed regarding our age old veterans, augmentation budget requested by the judiciary, activation of one infantry division, etc.
More than that, hopefully, I was able to enlighten the public because of the public discourse that transpired, for or against the outlawed pork barrel. I would say, we have gained some headway in this regard.
Hopefully, the President and his economic managers will further scrutinize the final version of the budget bill as passed by Congress and exercise his veto power to excise the line items that clearly look and smell like pork.
Puwedeng maawat ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa pamamagitan ng veto power ang pagkalulong at pagkagahaman ng karamihan sa mga kongresista at ilang senador sa pork barrel.
Ito ang nakikitang solusyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson upang malinis at matanggal sa loob ng 2019 national budget ang pork barrel na pilit na isinisingit ng marami sa kanyang kasamahan sa lehislatura na tila walang kabusugan.
Ayon kay Lacson, higit pa sa sapat ang veto power ng Pangulo upang matanggal ang mga personal amendments sa pambansang badyet na bunga ng pagsisingit, hindi lamang ng mga kongresista kunding maging ng ilan sa kanyang mga kasamahan sa Senado.
“Mr. President, you have displayed your strong political will on several occasions. This time, use your line-item veto power over the 2019 appropriations measure by removing all the ‘pork’ inserted by lawmakers who are incorrigibly insatiable and simply ‘beyond redemption,’” banggit ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.