Tag: DBM

‘Emergency or No Emergency’: Stressing the Fiscal Autonomy of Constitutional Bodies

At the hearing on the 2021 budgets of the Commission on Audit and Office of the Ombudsman, Sen. Lacson stressed the DBM has no authority under the Constitution to issue a discontinuance against a constitutional body such as the COA – after noting that the DBM issued a budget circular providing for the discontinuance of Programs, Activities and Projects (PAPs) of COA amounting to a total of P173M under the 2020 budget as they were categorized as congressional initiative and as “For Later Release.”

“My point is, Mr. Chairman, under the Constitution – particularly Sec. 5, Art 9-A, it provides for the automatic and regular release of the annual appropriations of constitutional commissions. And COA very clearly is one of three constitutional commissions, Comelec and CSC being the others. Of course even the judiciary,” Sen. Lacson said as he also cited jurisprudence (Bengzon vs Drilon, GR 103524), where fiscal autonomy allows the constitutional bodies and the judiciary full flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their needs require. “So pag sinabi nating fiscal autonomy, walang pakialam ang DBM.”

COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo said that while they are okay with the DBM’s decision “considering the difficulties the govt was having with funding in view of the pandemic,” he would agree that “it’s a violation of fiscal autonomy under the Constitution.”

I’d like to manifest this very clearly, let this not serve as a precedent for future issuances by DBM; huwag lang gawing precedent setting ito. If I may add, emergency or no emergency, hindi pwedeng precedent ito,” Sen. Lacson said.

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Ping: Ayuda sa Pandemya ang Umento sa Suweldo ng Govt Nurses

Sigurado nang tataas ang suweldo ng mga “entry-level” nurses na nagtatrabaho sa gobyerno matapos ilabas ng Department of Budget and Management (DBM) ang kumpirmasyon sa pondong inilaan para sa mga ito.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson na nagsulong sa Senado para maisama ang pondo sa 2020 national budget, ang dagdag suweldo para sa government nurses ay magsisilbing dagdag-pamadyak ng mga ito ngayong panahon ng pandemya sa COVID-19.

“Definitely, no amount is enough to show our appreciation for the sacrifices and hard work of our nurses, especially those in the front lines. Still, this pay increase – which was sought even before the COVID pandemic hit – will be of help to them in one way or another,” pahayag ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Much-Needed Pay Hike to Help Govt Nurses Cope with ‘New Normal’
Continue reading “Ping: Ayuda sa Pandemya ang Umento sa Suweldo ng Govt Nurses”

Lacson: Much-Needed Pay Hike to Help Govt Nurses Cope with ‘New Normal’

After years of waiting, government nurses – many of whom are now in the front lines against COVID-19 – are finally in line for a much-needed wage increase, after the Department of Budget and Management appropriated the funds for it.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, who pushed for funding for the pay hike via an amendment to the P4.1-trillion 2020 budget, said this should provide much-needed support especially for the frontliners fighting the COVID threat.

“Definitely, no amount is enough to show our appreciation for the sacrifices and hard work of our nurses, especially those in the front lines. Still, this pay increase – which was sought even before the COVID pandemic hit – will be of help to them in one way or another,” Lacson said.

“As all of us are now dealing with the ‘new normal’ due to the pandemic, the pay increase should hopefully make a difference for them,” he added.

Related: Ping: Ayuda sa Pandemya ang Umento sa Suweldo ng Govt Nurses
Continue reading “Lacson: Much-Needed Pay Hike to Help Govt Nurses Cope with ‘New Normal’”

#PINGterview: May Pondo sa Next Round ng Ayuda; Huwag Gutumin ang Pamilya Dahil sa Kapabayaan ni Mayor o ni Kap!

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* sufficiency of funds for 2nd tranche of social amelioration [0:16]
* 18M beneficiary families should get 2 months’ amelioration [1:07]
* possible supplemental budget [13:02]
* delay of funds due to ‘incompetence’ of some mayors, barangay heads [18:11]
* alleged ‘doble presyo’ of PPEs purchased by DOH, and related issues [20:18]

NOTES and QUOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: May Pondo sa Next Round ng Ayuda; Huwag Gutumin ang Pamilya Dahil sa Kapabayaan ni Mayor o ni Kap!”

#PINGterview: ECQ Extension, Supplemental Budget vs COVID-19 Needed?

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]

NOTES and QUOTES:
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At the Confirmation Hearing of DBM Sec. Wendel Avisado

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At the Commission on Appointments, Sen. Lacson supported the confirmation of Wendel Avisado as Department of Budget and Management Secretary.

Sen. Lacson urged Sec. Avisado to continue budget reforms at the DBM. “(President Duterte) cannot do it without your input and wise counsel. Please continue what you started,” he said.

Earlier, Sen. Lacson thanked Avisado for requiring agencies to obtain certifications from Regional Development Councils before including their projects in the national budget. “This is a step in the right direction that we must follow,” he said.

He also lauded the DBM for withholding at least P80B in congressional realignments at the expense of the “Build, Build, Build” flagship program.

Hatchet Job: Ping, ‘Ibinida’ sa Road Project sa Tarlac

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Image Courtesy: City Planning and Devt Office, Tarlac City Facebook page

Nagkaroon ng “hatchet job” laban kay Senador Panfilo Lacson matapos niyang isiwalat ang pagkakaharang ng Malacañang sa tinatayang P80 bilyong realignment sa 2020 national budget.

Nakarating sa senador ang paglutang ng pekeng impormasyon na ini-sponsor niya ang isang proyektong kalsada sa Tarlac City sa kabila ng patakaran nito na huwag magpatupad ng proyekto gamit ang pork barrel.

“First, I don’t realign appropriations for road projects, much less local roads since it smacks of a pork barrel allocation. Also, the realignments I propose in the national budget are institutional – meaning, they have undergone planning and vetting, and are based on requests from the implementing agencies concerned,” mariing paliwanag ni Lacson.

Ang nabanggit na pahayag ay ginawa ni Lacson bilang pagpapasinungaling sa lumabas na impormasyon na siya ang nag-sponsor sa P25-milyong road concreting project sa Barangay San Rafael, Tarlac City.

Related: Hatchet Job? Lacson Scores ‘Disinformation’ on Tarlac Road Project
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Hatchet Job? Lacson Scores ‘Disinformation’ on Tarlac Road Project

tarlac city fb
Image Courtesy: City Planning and Devt Office, Tarlac City Facebook page

Is it a smear job meant to discredit Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson and his anti-pork advocacy?

Lacson was tagged as the “sponsor” of a local item in the P4.1-trillion budget for 2020: a P25-million road concreting project in Barangay San Rafael in Tarlac City.

“First, I don’t realign appropriations for road projects, much less local roads since it smacks of a pork barrel allocation. Also, the realignments I propose in the national budget are institutional – meaning, they have undergone planning and vetting, and are based on requests from the implementing agencies concerned,” Lacson said.

He noted the disinformation appeared to come after Malacañang and the Department of Budget and Management withheld at least P80 billion in congressional realignments made by some lawmakers, at the expense of the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” flagship program.

Related: Hatchet Job: Ping, ‘Ibinida’ sa Road Project sa Tarlac
Continue reading “Hatchet Job? Lacson Scores ‘Disinformation’ on Tarlac Road Project”

On the Withholding of At Least P80B in Congressional Realignments

SPML-hearing

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.

Thus, I support the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Budget and Management to withhold the release of these congressional realignments.

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.

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Senate Hearing on Disaster Management and Resilience

At the Senate hearing on disaster resilience and management, Sen. Lacson cited issues that should be addressed before the Senate can even consider coming up with a committee report creating an entirely new department to address disaster management. Lacson, who chaired the hearing, also stressed the need to shift disaster response and management from reactive to proactive.

During the hearing, Sen. Lacson also questioned where the unspent disaster funds in past years went, even as he stressed the need to allocate more government resources to research and development.

QUOTES and NOTES:
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