Taxpayers themselves will soon serve as the biggest safeguard against pork barrel being sneaked into the national budget, with a bill filed by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson.
Senate Bill 2219 institutionalizes the direct participation of people’s organizations and non-government organizations in the preparation of the spending bill.
“Now is the time for Congress to recognize the importance of the direct participation by people’s organizations and non-government organizations in the budget deliberation,” Lacson said in his bill.
“We should institutionalize the practice of legislature-civil society collaboration in order to achieve a people-oriented budget as well as establish transparency and accountability in the budget process,” he added.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answers questions on: – possible veto of the 2019 budget
– resolution calling out US senators for arrogance
– new vote-buying scheme using 4Ps, up to P25,000 per vote?
– Holy Week 2019
Undoubtedly, and as I have always pointed out, the 2019 national budget measure had been subjected to abuse and indiscretions by some legislators from both houses of Congress, with the House of Representatives’ leadership even going beyond the mandate of the law and time-honored legislative practice.
At the end of the day, it is greed and insatiability of those who cannot control their appetite for more and more ‘pork’ and all the perks and commissions that go with it.
Having said that, the President is well within his legal authority to veto in whole or in parts the Enrolled Bill already before him if he and his economic team see it wise to do so.
As for me, I am prepared to fight the next battle when the National Expenditure Program for the 2020 national budget is submitted by the President at the opening of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress.
It is tiring and frustrating, but I am always ready and able to fight another day for my career-long advocacy as an elected Senator of the Republic – that of fighting corruption, particularly in the authorization phase of the budgeting process.
Sen. Lacson’s office answers repeated questions and accusations about the 2019 budget in this letter to The Manila Times‘ April 1, 2019 editorial. The letter sought to answer some questions in the editorial that were addressed to the senator, though it has yet to be published.
In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– pork in the 2019 budget
– Chinese presence in the West Philippine Sea
– reported plan to publicly name cops involved in the drug trade
At the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– birthday wish and ‘grade’ for President Duterte
– former police Col. Acierto
– war on drugs and DDB survey
– whether the P3.757-trillion 2019 budget will be pork-free
– Ayalas’ apology amid recent NCR water crisis
– preferences for the May 2019 elections