Dalawang malalakas na sampal ang tumama sa mga Pinoy sa panahon ng pandemya dahil sa mahigit na P63 bilyong hindi ginamit na pondo sa Bayanihan 2 – kasama ang P46.397 bilyon na “undisbursed” at P17.23 bilyong “unobligated,” ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson nitong Lunes.
Isiniwalat ito ni Lacson matapos ang pagsasaliksik ng mga naturang datos bunga ng unang akusasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na sinabi umano ng mambabatas na mababa ang paggugol ng pamahalaan sa mga pondo nito ngayong pandemya.
“We should keep in mind that underspending is determined not by fund releases but by obligations and disbursements. And based on my research, is there underspending? Yes!” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng Radyo 5.
No thanks to a P63 billion-plus underspending by the government under Bayanihan 2 – with some P46.397 billion undisbursed and P17.273 billion unobligated – Filipinos whose lives and livelihoods were affected by the pandemic have been hit with a double whammy as much-needed aid did not reach them, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said on Monday.
“We should keep in mind that underspending is determined not by fund releases but by obligations and disbursements. And based on my research, is there underspending? Yes!” Lacson said in an interview on Radyo 5.
Bakit hindi patakbuhin ang gobyerno katulad ng isang malaking pribadong korporasyon, para mas maging epektibo ito?
Kabilang ito sa mga usapin na inilatag ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pakikipagpulong sa mga negosyante sa Pampanga at mga lokal na opisyal ng Malolos, Bulacan sa pagsimula niya at ni Senate President Vicente Sotto III ng “Tour of Luzon,” na kinapapalooban ng apat na araw na konsultasyon sa iba’t ibang sektor para alamin ang saloobin ng mga ito sa kung paano makatugon ang pamahalaan sa panahon ng kagipitan at pandemya.
Sa kanyang pagsasalita, iginiit ni Lacson na maraming matututunan ang gobyerno sa pribadong sektor – kasama ang mahusay na pangangasiwa ng pananalapi at ang pagbusisi sa mga proyektong nagawa na o ginagawa pa – para mas mainam na makaresponde sa problema ng bansa lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya.
“This is something we want to discuss with you: Isn’t it a sound concept to run the government like a private corporation? For example, many consider Singapore a big ‘corporation,’ in the sense that investments by the people come back to them in the form of social services and other forms of public service. We want to learn from you on these things. We know the companies you run would not be successful if your decision-making is not sound,” banggit ni Lacson sa konsultasyon sa negosyante sa Pampanga.
“In the case of our government, in the preparation of the budget plan for example, instead of the Development Budget Coordinating Council (DBCC) through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) imposing a budget ceiling for the different agencies to work on, it should instead follow what private corporations do, like start from zero and make each of their departments to propose and justify before the board their annual budget,” dagdag ni Lacson.
Why can’t the government be run efficiently, like a big private corporation?
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson posed this question in meetings with local businessmen in Pampanga and local officials in Malolos, Bulacan during the first day of his and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III’s “Tour of Luzon,” a four-day series of consultative meetings to feel the pulse of people on how the government can better respond to the present and post pandemic situations.
Lacson noted that fiscal discipline and a more efficient performance audit are two of many areas where the national government can learn from the business sector to better cope with the humongous problems that our country is now facing amid the pandemic.
“This is something we want to discuss with you: Isn’t it a sound concept to run the government like a private corporation? For example, many consider Singapore a big ‘corporation,’ in the sense that investments by the people come back to them in the form of social services and other forms of public service. We want to learn from you on these things. We know the companies you run would not be successful if your decision-making is not sound,” Lacson said at a consultation with local business leaders in Pampanga.
“In the case of our government, in the preparation of the budget plan for example, instead of the Development Budget Coordinating Council (DBCC) through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) imposing a budget ceiling for the different agencies to work on, it should instead follow what private corporations do, like start from zero and make each of their departments to propose and justify before the board their annual budget,” he added.
Puwedeng gamitin para ipambili ng kinakailangan na P20 bilyon na karagdagang bakuna ngayong taon ang bilyon-bilyong congressional insertions na minarkahan ng Department of Budget and Management (DBM) na for later release (FLR).
Iminungkahi ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson matapos na makausap nitong nakaraang Huwebes ang tatlong czar na nangangasiwa ng mga programa laban sa COVID-19.
“I suggested that the P20 billion can be sourced from the insertions made by lawmakers marked ‘FLR’ because the implementing agencies concerned were not consulted on the insertions and thus could not implement them,” pagbubunyag ni Lacson sa panayam sa kanya ng DWIZ nitong Sabado.
Why not use the humongous congressional insertions tagged by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as “For Later Release” (FLR) to meet the P20-billion requirement for COVID vaccines for this year?
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson raised the possibility following a meeting between him and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and the “three czars” of the government’s COVID response program last Thursday.
“I suggested that the P20 billion can be sourced from the insertions made by lawmakers marked ‘FLR’ because the implementing agencies concerned were not consulted on the insertions and thus could not implement them,” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio Saturday.
While the intention may be good, let us first take a serious look at the situation. Since the Department of Budget and Management already said that the government coffers have dried up, hence funds are no longer available, the bigger question remains: Can we still afford more borrowings intended for dole-outs instead of for other productive purposes to boost our economy? The last thing we need is ending up in a ‘Sisyphean’ situation.
Our best option is to have a sense of urgency and allow the private sector more participation with better flexibility in the vaccination program – true to the government’s ‘whole-of-nation approach’ theme, which is turning out to be mere platitude and lip service.
Then, if we really need to pass Bayanihan 3, the national and local governments must first get their act together to update the data on the intended recipients of the social amelioration program since what the Department of Social Welfare and Development is using is a five-year-old list that is already out of date – hence real-time needs and priorities are not being properly addressed, not to mention the corruption involved in the distribution of such dole-outs because of such a defective list.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson renewed his call to fellow lawmakers for transparency, “particularly our amendments in the 2021 budget bill.”
Lacson stressed transparency is crucial to dispel suspicions of “compromises and personal interests in our proposed amendments.”
“If we have nothing to hide, we have to make our amendments public, as I have done in my case, so those amendments can be scrutinized by the media as well as the public. It is the mandate of Congress to make amendments to the budget bill; we cannot just adopt the National Expenditure Program in toto,” he said in an interview on DZRH radio Friday evening.
Upang matiyak na hindi ito nakikidoble sa ibang ahensiya, kailangang mapag-aralan ang mga umiiral na tungkulin ng Philippine International Trading Center (PITC).
Binigyang-diin ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa harap ng usapin na mistulang napipigilan nito ang pag-realign ng pondo para sa mahahalagang proyekto.
“The issue is this: If the agencies procure items via their own Bids and Awards Committees or the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service, the funds that are not used can be converted into savings. The President, Senate President, House Speaker and Chief Justice are allowed by the Constitution to realign these to other items within their respective offices. But funds with the PITC become idle and are returned to the Treasury,” pagsisiwalat ni Lacson sa panayam ng ABS-CBN News Channel.
“So development is stunted in some ways because funds that should have been available are returned to the Treasury and cannot be realigned for other needs,” dagdag ni Lacson.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Wednesday stressed the need to revisit the functions of the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC), which is turning out to be a redundant agency.
Lacson said the PITC can potentially stunt national development since the funds “entrusted” to it for procurement cannot be used and realigned for urgent programs.
“The issue is this: If the agencies procure items via their own Bids and Awards Committees or the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service, the funds that are not used can be converted into savings. The President, Senate President, House Speaker and Chief Justice are allowed by the Constitution to realign these to other items within their respective offices. But funds with the PITC become idle and are returned to the Treasury,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
“So development is stunted in some ways because funds that should have been available are returned to the Treasury and cannot be realigned for other needs,” he added.
Utilizing the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) for the procurement requirements of several national government agencies may have to be revisited and stopped, not only to save on unnecessary expenses amounting to billions of pesos in delays and commissions or service fees.
Since the creation of the Government Procurement Service under the Department of Budget and Management, the PITC may have outlived its purpose. Initially, it was only used to circumvent the procurement of medicines, especially for emergency needs. But later, it has expanded into the procurement of other items like rice.
That said, it is only prudent that the government at least take a long hard look at the involvement of the PITC in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
In his interpellation of the National Irrigation Administration’s budget for 2021, Sen. Lacson questioned appropriations for projects with a track record of delays and negative slippage. He also scored the Department of Budget and Management’s tagging of funds for important agricultural projects as “For Later Release.”
On the first day of floor deliberations on the P4.5-trillion 2021 budget bill, Sen. Lacson revealed several ‘skeleton projects‘ of the DPWH to illustrate “how acts of corruption are committed than by the misuse and abuse of public funds. Not anymore by the hundreds of thousands but by the millions of pesos wasted during implementation of the national budget.”
Sen. Lacson suggested that the funds for the skeleton projects, including at least P68B for multi-purpose buildings (MPBs) go to items that need funding more in the budget, such as the National Broadband Program. He also questioned the ‘FLR’ (For Later Release)practice of the DBM.
It is relatively easy to pass a law creating new departments. But would it be feasible, and will there be proper funding for it? The Department of Budget and Management says at least P1.5 billion is needed to set up the department. That does not yet include added salaries, capital outlay like office facilities, furniture, vehicles, MOOE, and CIF.
During the first public hearing last January, no less than the stakeholders who served as resource persons also cited concerns about creating a new department for disaster and risk reduction:
First, there is a policy direction for right-sizing the bureaucracy that is already bloated.
Second, the implementation especially of recovery and rehabilitation will be carried out not by the proposed new department but by existing agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of Health.
Third, we can see that the newly created departments like the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development cannot be properly funded, or at least are not given the appropriate funding to work properly.
Having said that, a dedicated office under the Office of the President with a Cabinet rank and full authority to mobilize the concerned government agencies before, during and after calamities both natural and man-made – from policy-making and planning all the way to implementation – would do the job with much less funding and minimum number of staff and personnel. In contrast, a council-type organization like the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has a very limited capability mainly because it is merely coordinative.
Desidido si Senador Panfilo Lacson na itulak ang pagkakaloob ng malaking pondo sa pambansang gastusin sa susunod na taon ang national broadband program at libreng Wi-Fi.
Nakikita kasi ng mambabatas na ang mga programang nabanggit ang magiging pundasyon para tumibay ang ekonomiya ng bansa.
“This is the backbone of our economy. In this day and age of modern information technology, we have no reason not to catch up or to be at par with neighboring countries, considering that potential investors’ first concern would be internet speed,” banggit ni Lacson sa pagdinig ng Senado sa panukalang badyet ng Department of Information and Communications Technology at National Telecommunications Commission.
Ayon kay Lacson, ang maasahang ICT system ay nangangahulugan ng mas maraming oportunidad para sa mga Pinoy na maipakita ang kagalingan at abilidad.
“I am a believer in ICT because there is so much we can do if our ICT is efficient,” dagdag pa ng mambabatas.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Tuesday threw his full support behind the government’s plan to provide free Wi-Fi especially in far-flung areas, and to set up a national broadband program.
Lacson said he will push for a bigger budget for the two programs, as he noted these will serve as the backbone of the country’s economy.
“This is the backbone of our economy. In this day and age of modern information technology, we have no reason not to catch up or to be at par with neighboring countries, considering that potential investors’ first concern would be internet speed,” Lacson said at the budget hearing for the Department of Information and Communications Technology and National Telecommunications Commission.
“I am a believer in ICT because there is so much we can do if our ICT is efficient,” he added.
Kung hindi pa isinasantabi ng administrasyong Duterte ang gyera sa ilegal na droga, bakit binawasan ang mga kahilingan o proposal ng DDB mula P520.4 milyon to P344.5 milyon; at ng PDEA mula proposal na P4.911 bilyon to P2.731 bilyon sa NEP?
Habang nag-issue ang Pangulo ng EO 66 noong 2018 para magkaroon ng multi-agency approach ang gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng PADS (Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy) kaya pinasumite ang 61 ahensya ng budget para suportahan itong strategy, apat lamang ang pinabibigyan ng pondo ng DBM ng P2.053 bilyon sa ilalim ng NEP.
Pati ang mga augmentation na ginawa ng Senado para sa kanilang 2020 budget ay isinama sa “FLR (For Later Release)” at hindi ni-release: P81.9 milyon sa DDB at P106.1 milyon sa PDEA, ayon sa DBM Circular 580. Dahil dito, nadiskaril ang kanilang mga nakalinya na at umiiral na mga PAPs tulad ng ICT training at pambili ng ICT equipment.
Tuloy dapat ang laban sa illegal drugs, may COVID man o wala. Kaya naiintindihan ko ang hinaing at pakiusap ng DDB at PDEA sa pagdinig kahapon tungkol sa 2021 budget nila kung pwedeng madagdagan ng Senado ang kanilang tinapyas na budget.
May kasabihan tayo: Tulak ng bibig, kabig ng dibdib. Iyan ba ang nangyayari ngayon sa laban sa ilegal na droga sa kabila ng libu-libong napatay na mula noong 2016 pa?
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
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.
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.
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
Malakas na ang tsansa na simula sa darating na taon, direkta nang matatanggap ng mga nangangailangang local government unit (LGU) ang pondong kanilang hinihingi para sa kanilang mga proyekto.
Ito ay bunga ng polisiya ng Department of Budget and Management (DBM) na nag-aatas sa mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan na kumuha muna ng sertipikasyon sa Regional Development Councils (RDCs) kaugnay sa mga proyektong ipapatupad sa taong 2021.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson na nangunguna sa krusada para sa tamang paggamit ng pondo ng pamahalaan, ang hakbang na ito ng DBM ay magwawakas na sa “disconnect” na matagal nang nagpapahirap sa mga lokal na pamahalaan.
“I am thankful to DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado for requiring agencies to obtain certifications from RDCs to make sure projects have local support. This is a step in the right direction that we must follow,” ayon kay Lacson.
The coming year may finally mark the beginning of the end for the “disconnect” that has shut out far-flung towns and provinces from much-needed funding for their development programs, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.
Lacson said he has high hopes for the Department of Budget and Management’s policy to require agencies to secure certifications from Regional Development Councils for projects to be included in the proposed national budget for 2021.
“For the P4.1-trillion budget for 2020, projects initiated by the Regional Development Councils accounted for only 25 percent of development projects in the National Expenditure Program or the President’s Budget that forms the basis of the budget bill. Yet, local government units, especially those in far-flung areas, are in the best position to know their constituents’ needs and priorities,” said Lacson, an untiring watchdog of the national budget an advocate of local government empowerment.
“I am thankful to DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado for requiring agencies to obtain certifications from RDCs to make sure projects have local support. This is a step in the right direction that we must follow,” he added.
“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.
Sa wakas, tuloy na tuloy na ang umento sa pensiyon ng mga retiradong Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP), matapos ito bigyan ng sapat na pondo ng Department of Budget and Management.
Nagpasalamat si Lacson, na miyembro ng Philippine Military Academy Class 1971, kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte para sa dagdag na benipisyo sa ilalim ng Joint Resolution No. 1.
“On behalf of the 220,000 MUP retirees, let me say a lifetime ‘THANK YOU’ to PRRD for Joint Resolution No 1. No other President has shown such concern for those who served and offered their lives for country and people. All we have to do is continue breathing for as long as we can,” pahayag ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Thursday expressed thanks on behalf of 220,000 military and uniformed personnel (MUP) retirees, after the Department of Budget and Management finally cleared the way for the hike in their pension.
Lacson, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1971, cited President Rodrigo Duterte for signing Joint Resolution No. 1, which provides for the increase.
“On behalf of the 220,000 MUP retirees, let me say a lifetime ‘THANK YOU’ to PRRD for Joint Resolution No 1. No other President has shown such concern for those who served and offered their lives for country and people. All we have to do is continue breathing for as long as we can,” he said on his Twitter account.
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
In an interview on ANC, Sen. Lacson answered questions on: – passage of the 2019 national budget
– allegations of graft vs DBM Sec Diokno and calls for him to resign
– compensation for landowners affected by DPWH right-of-way projects
– Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite
Re-enacted man o maging batas na ang P3.7-trilyon na pambansang badyet para sa 2019, kailangang ipatupad na ngayong buwan ang umento sa suweldo ng mga kawani ng pamahalaan.
Ito ang naging tugon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa pagkakabalam sa pagpapatupad sa pagtaas sa suweldo ng mga empleyado ng pamahalaan, na ayon sa Department of Budget and Management (DBM) ay bunga ng hindi pa pagkakapasa sa pambansang gastusin para ngayong taon.
“Mr. DBM Secretary, implement the salary increase now. It is not unconstitutional. It has basis in law and there is PhP99.446 billion under the MPBF in the 2018 budget,” mensahe ni Lacson sa pamunuan ng ahensiya sa pamamagitan ng kanyang Twitter account.
“Pointing to a re-enacted budget won’t fly,” dagdag pa ng mambabatas.
The stalemate over the proposed P3.7-trillion budget for 2019 should not be a reason to put on hold a scheduled salary increase for government workers, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday.
Lacson said the Department of Budget and Management can use P99.446 billion under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MBPF) in the 2018 budget for the purpose.
“Mr. DBM Secretary, implement the salary increase now. It is not unconstitutional. It has basis in law and there is PhP99.446 billion under the MPBF in the 2018 budget,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.
“Pointing to a re-enacted budget won’t fly,” he added.
Mr. President, I’m not interpellating on the budget of the Offce of the President. This is just a very quick manifestation and I’d like to take advantage of the presence of Executive Secretary Medialdea. I would like to issue an appeal to him not to endorse the anticipated recommendation of Secretary of DBM Ben Diokno to call for a special session.
Because looking at the schedule, Mr. President, after this agency, the Office of the President, we still have to tackle some big ones. Department of Tourism, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Justice – at least the Bureau of Immigration, Commission on Audit, Comelec, Ombudsman, DOH, DND, DILG. And even if the President calls for a special session, even if we extend our session for another five days, for another week, it is impossible, Mr. President, for us to enact the budget bill before the year ends.
So I’d like to again reiterate of course with the concurrence of this body, I’d like to make that appeal. Quoting Jesus Christ: ‘the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,’ Mr. President.
Thank you Mr. President, and may we have the commitment of the Executive Secretary… that he will not endorse and he will block, as a matter of fact, Mr. President?
Pinabibilisan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa Department of National Defense (DND) ang pagbuo ng modernong kakayahan at kasanayan sa pagbabantay at pagtatanggol sa bansa laban sa mga pagtatangka buhat sa mga masasamang elemento.
Sa pagdinig ng Finance Subcommittee ng Senado na pinamunuan ni Lacson sa panukalang badyet ng DND para sa susunod na taon, personal na sinabihan ng mambabatas si DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana na kailangan nang magkaroon ng matibay na pundasyon ang ahensiya sa usapin ng cyber- and technological capabilities.
Ayon kay Lacson, ang kasalukuyang panahon ay mabilis na umuusad patungo sa pagiging ganap na cybertechnology-capable kung kaya’t dapat makasabay ang DND bilang pangunahing sangay-tanggulan ng bansa.