It is basic that once an infra project has started its implementation, it is already obligated. Hence, there can be no partial cash allocation, unless that project is discontinued, cancelled, or terminated. Then, the unused portion of the appropriation becomes savings that may be realigned. Or, if the project is covered by Multi Year Contractual Authority (MYCA), formerly known as MYOA or Multi Year Obligational Authority which is clearly spelled out and provided in the 2020 GAA, the same item can reappear in the succeeding budget year.
We were not born yesterday as far as budgeting is concerned.
In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* possible supplemental budget to deal with COVID-19 [0:26]
* at least P989B unused from 2019 budget [2:40]
* local officials naipit sa Social Amelioration Program [17:39]
* DBM circular barring release of 35% of 2020 budget’s appropriations [19:45]
* lockdown until June? [24:17]
Unmitigated gall. This best describes some lawmakers who realigned at least P80 billion from the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” flagship program to their districts’ “pet projects” under the 2020 national budget.
This is one reason why I continue to support the leadership of President Duterte in spite of some disagreements with him over some policy issues: He has time and again displayed the strong political will, even against many self-proclaimed allies in Congress whose loyalty clearly lies where the money lies.
Such “allies” have the propensity to praise him to high heavens and never criticize him, but with self-aggrandizement and greed as their only motivation and nothing else. The President should always be wary of these so-called allies.
The Senate sought P20B in calamity funds in the 2020 budget, but the bicameral conference committee approved only P16B. Where did the P4B go? Sen. Lacson answers questions on the subject in a phone patch interview on DZBB and GMA News TV.
In an interview with media in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– VP Robredo’s claim that the war vs drugs is a ‘massive failure’
– Filipinos affected by tension in the Middle East
– pork in the 2020 budget
– PNP physical fitness policy
In an interview on DWIZ Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘early’ signing of the 2020 budget in January 2020
– reinstatement of cops acquitted in Maguindanao massacre case
– NPA hit list and anti-terror bill
– assessment of 2019 and expectations in 2020
In interviews on DZRH and DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– need for strong political will by PRRD to veto pork
– continued blatant violations of the SC ruling vs pork in 2020 budget
– moves to counter pork and other ‘insertions’
– investigation of issues on the 2019 SEA Games organizers
One reason why I did not attend the signing of the bicam report: Last night after our session, my office received from the House of Representatives through the Senate Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office (LBRMO) one USB drive containing two files, the “Source” File and the “List” File.
Our preliminary scrutiny of the last-minute insertions made by the House would indicate that the Source File is the list of 1,253 budget items worth P83.219B that was apparently used as the congressmen’s ‘source’ of their ‘list’ of 742 projects worth P16.345Bthat were inserted in the bicam report that was signed by both panels this morning.
A crowd like this always evokes a strong feeling of sentimentality. Like most of you in this hall, I am certainly at the point in my life where I often turn my gaze back over the past and see if those years have really mattered — not only for myself, but for the people who have entrusted me a seat in public office, and for my country that has given me so much in my present life.
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.
Representatives of the Senate and House met to discuss the passage of the P4.1-trillion 2020 budget. At the meeting, Sen. Lacson manifested for transparency, where the Senate and House will submit to each other the new amendments not yet included in their respective versions.
Sen. Lacson also said he expects the smooth and early passage of the 2020 budget bill, provided there is no move to introduce post-ratification amendments like in the 2019 budget. He also answered questions on issues regarding the SEA Games hosting, and the selection of a new PNP chief.
Huwag lang matabunan sa bicameral conference committee, mailalabas na sa darating na taon ang umento sa mga government nurses.
Ito ay makaraang naipasok sa Senate version ng P4.1-trilyong 2020 national budget ang ipinaglaban ni Senador Panfilo Lacson na alokasyon para rito.
Sa ilalim ng probisyon sa Senate version ng pambansang badyet na “Increasing the Salary Grade of Government Nurses,” magiging Salary Grade 15 (P30,531) ang buwanang base pay ng government nurses, sang-ayon sa utos ng Korte Suprema.
“The implementation of the salary adjustment shall take effect when the decision of the Supreme Court had become final and executory, but not earlier than the start of Fiscal Year 2020,” saad sa probisyon.
Government nurses’ hope for a much-needed wage increase is one step closer to reality, after the Senate adopted one of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson’s proposed amendments to the P4.1-trillion national budget bill.
The Senate version of the national budget bill now includes a special provision proposed by Lacson – one of the vice chairpersons of the Senate contingent to the bicameral conference committee tackling the budget bill – to increase the salary grade of government nurses.
Under the new special provision, “Increasing the Salary Grade of Government Nurses,” the base pay of government nurses shall be Salary Grade 15 (P30,531 a month), in compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision (G.R. 215746).
In an interview on ANC, Sen. Lacson answered questions on: – House leaders’ claims that Senate to blame for early hosting woes for SEA Games – pork in the 2020 budget
– reported proposal to vote for President and VP in tandem
– advice to VP Robredo after her removal as ICAD co-chair
In his interpellation of the 2020 budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (including the Philippine National Police), Sen. Lacson sought more resources for the PNP and greater capacity and for local government units. He promised to do his part to help.
Isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson na madagdagan ang pondo para sa implementasyon ng National ID, Universal Health Care at Quality Tertiary Education sa 2020, sa pamamagitan ng realignment sa ilang malalabong gastusin sa 2020 budget.
“The National ID system needs at least P5.565 billion in 2020 to cover the registration of some 14 million Filipinos and resident aliens. But the proposed 2020 budget presently allocates only P2.4 billion under the unprogrammed fund for it. This amount covers only 6.3 million Filipinos,” pagsisiwalat ng senador.
Several funded items in the P4.1-trillion proposed national budget for 2020 can be realigned to more worthwhile programs to fund three landmark laws passed under the present administration: the PhilSys Act (National ID) program, Universal Health Care Act, and the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
“There are many items in the 2020 budget that can be realigned for the National ID. One of them is the National Greening Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” he said in an interview on DZMM Wednesday.
‘Tulong Dunong,’ the defunct scholarship program of individual legislators, is still alive and kicking – and the proof is on Facebook. Sen. Lacson bared this during his interpellation of the 2020 budget of the Commission on Higher Education.
Sen. Lacson sponsored the 2020 budget of the Commission on Human Rights amounting to P863.138 million. This included P830 million for the Human Rights proper and P32.8 million for the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission.
Lacson noted the CHR needs at least 152 lawyers nationwide as it has only three lawyers per region. He also corrected impressions the CHR was silent on the abuse of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).
Meanwhile, Lacson sponsored as well the 2020 budgets of the Mindanao Development Authority, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, and Southern Philippines Development Authority.
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.
Sen. Lacson sponsored the proposed PhP553.661-million budget of the Dangerous Drugs Board. The proposed 2020 budget of the DDB is lower than the 2019 budget due to, among other factors, the non-recurring funding for the nationwide survey on the extent of drug abuse in the Philippines.
Lacson also sponsored the PhP2.480-billion budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, higher than the current year’s budget.
In his interpellation of the 2020 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Sen. Lacson pointed out several questionable items, as he reiterated the national budget is “not a guessing game” and has to be studied painstakingly.
During deliberations for the 2020 budget of the Department of Agriculture, Sen. Lacson urged the agency to pursue criminal charges against those behind the reported distribution of defective farm equipment to farmers.
“It’s really disgusting to see farmers suffering some more on account of not just mismanagement… Obviously may nakinabang dito… I would urge the good DA Sec William Dar not to stop at mere audit, but charges should be filed. Sino ba sa office in charge of procurement ng farm machinery?”
“To prevent a repetition of that anomaly, we should show these people the secretary means business, by going after them. Not just stop at auditing them but charges should be filed against those responsible. Kasi this is plain and simple criminal act. Ako I don’t want to believe di sinasadya yan. Kung 1-2 pwedeng hindi sinasadya pero kung commonplace at sira ang equipment mukhang may kumita nang malaki.”
In an interview after the interpellation, Sen. Lacson also said such actions should be a warning to those implementing the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, so they will ensure proper procurement and distribution of equipment.
“Warning din yan sa pag-implement ng RCEF (Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund) na tingnan nilang mabuti ang procurement at ang idi-distribute na equipment kung tama ba.”
Sen. Lacson sponsored the proposed PhP191,340,253,000 budget of the Department of National Defense for 2020. The amount is about 4% of the 2020 budget. The key security strategy for 2018 indicated a minimum of 2% of the budget for the DND.
“I just hope we won’t have any more reenacted budget. As we all know by now, it is the economy that is suffering. Having said that, I have some issues and concerns that need to be clarified. If the sponsor is willing to accommodate just a few points I’d like to raise.” – Sen. Lacson’s opening statement at his interpellation (general principles) on the proposed 2020 budget.
In an interview with Senate media and on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on: – meetings with VP Robredo and Manila Mayor Moreno
– President Duterte’s expected support for VP Robredo in anti-drug war
– P100B planned House realignments in 2020 budget
– appointment of new PNP Chief
– possible new post for retired PNP chief Albayalde
Sa halip na itago, dapat isapubliko ng mga mambabatas ang kanilang isinusulong na amendments sa pambansang badyet para sa susunod na taon, sa pamamagitan ng pag-post nito sa kani-kanilang website.
Ito ang naging hamon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga kasamahan sa lehislatura upang siguraduhing walang pork ang mga pondong nakapaloob sa 2020 national budget.
“We should make everything public. That includes all amendments we submit, whether institutional or individual. We have our own websites, we should use them for this purpose, as I did for the 2019 budget,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Instead of whispering proposed “amendments” to the 2020 national budget or scrawl them on napkins, why not post them online?
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson issued this challenge to fellow lawmakers Tuesday, adding no less than such a show of transparency would dispel suspicions that the amendments are stained with pork.
“We should make everything public. That includes all amendments we submit, whether institutional or individual. We have our own websites, we should use them for this purpose, as I did for the 2019 budget,” Lacson, an avowed enemy of the pork barrel system, said in an interview on DZBB radio.
In an interview on DZBB/GNTV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– need for transparency in crafting the 2020 budget
– curbing pork amid growing national debt
– making enemies while fighting pork in the budget
In an interview on DZBB/GNTV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– thwarting possible attempts to insert pork in the P4.1-trillion proposed 2020 budget via bicam
– ‘most behaved’ House with P9.5B institutional amendments in the budget bill
– release of funds to address recent calamities
My fight is against ‘pork’ and corruption, and nothing more. It is never about the House or its members, even if some of them take turns in insisting otherwise.
For one, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Sid Ungab, is one of their many decent members whom Rep. Villafuerte tried to undermine by attempting to withdraw the budget measure from his committee, but held his ground and rejected his malevolent move.
As for Rep. Villafuerte and his claim of a ‘ceasefire,’ for once he should stop prevaricating. How could I not honor something that I did not have knowledge about? He should not put words into my mouth then comment on it himself.
In a letter dated Sept. 19, 2019, Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro lobbied with Sen. Lacson for financial assistance to construct a municipal building for Dumalag town, costing P258 million. The stamp indicating the time and date it was received at Sen. Lacson’s office belies Castro’s claim that the lobbying was ‘fictional.’
At the hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Sen. Lacson raised several questions involving the agency’s use of funds for infrastructure projects. “Sabi kasi ni Senate President, we will go through the budget with a fine-toothed comb. So we are going through all this.”
Sen. Lacson chaired the hearing for the 2020 budgets of the Southern Philippines Development Authority, Mindanao Development Authority, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process.
He indicated the additional funding requests that can be justified could be addressed via “pork” funds that may be found in – and excised from – the proposed 2020 budget. “Maghahanap ako ng pork na makakaltasan,” he said.
In an interview with media after the hearing, Sen. Lacson also cited other preventive measures such as joint operations, and closer coordination with the judiciary in destroying illegal drugs seized as evidence.