In his interpellation of the DPWH’s proposed budget for 2021, Sen. Lacson questioned several issues including whopping appropriations for several districts, double appropriations, overlapping projects, modifications involving poor planning, and right-of-way costs embedded in several infrastructure projects on top of the P11.45-billion appropriations for ROWs. He also reiterated his call to set aside at least for 2021 non-priority projects such as multi-purpose buildings (MPBs), in favor of helping LGUs hit by recent typhoons.
If you notice, the budget bill has not been transmitted to Malacañang in spite of the bicam report being ratified by both houses of Congress more than two weeks ago.
I have it on good information that the House leadership is still waiting for several congressmen to finalize the submission of their individual projects. This is not to mention that insertions and realignments were made even after the bicameral report ratification.
While technically speaking, it may not constitute post-legislation enactment since the President has not yet signed the budget measure, we can see clear abuse of discretion especially if done without the concurrence of the Senate; it is also an utter disregard of the Supreme Court’s 2013 landmark ruling.
This latest caper that the House leadership is trying to pull off may also constitute violation of the 1987 Constitution. I’ve talked to some congressmen who expressed anxiety that the pork barrel allocations of at least 60 congressmen were slashed post-bicam ratification.
Whatever it is, these are things that they do for greed. It’s a shame and revolting, to say the least.
Citing the need for transparency, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has made public the details of the institutional amendments he proposed in the P3.7-trillion national budget for 2019.
Lacson expressed hope other proponents of amendments to the budget will do the same, to remove speculations that the bicameral conference committee is a venue for “horse trading” and compromises among legislators.
“In the spirit of transparency, I instructed my staff to make public all my amendments in the 2019 national budget. I hope all proponents will do the same to remove all suspicions that the bicameral conference is a venue for sneaky horse trading among legislators,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.
Highlights of the continuation of Sen. Lacson’s interpellation of the DPWH’s budget:
* Tracing a big chunk of the P75B ‘insertion’ in the DPWH’s 2019 budget
* Proposal to reallocate a part of the P75B to slope protection
* Plea to DPWH to ‘walk the extra mile’ in helping landowners affected by right-of-way issues
* Push to restore a provision in the 2019 budget not to start implementation of projects without settling ROW first
Instead of potentially letting foreign firms do so, it would be better if the Philippine government take over the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction in Subic, Zambales.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson raised this proposal Wednesday during the Senate’s deliberations on the 2019 budget of the Department of National Defense.
Lacson pointed out the government may use “insertions” deleted from the P3.7-trillion proposed 2019 budget, including P75 billion of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“What if the Philippine government will just take over Hanjin and bid out to possible partners, private entities? This will mean potential income for the government,” said Lacson, who earlier moved to have the Senate constitute itself into a Committee of the Whole to discuss the issue while tackling the DND’s budget.