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Given a huge P3.7 trillion proposed national budget for 2019, Senator Panfilo Lacson is optimistic that his colleagues will be firm with what they agreed upon on the proposed 2019 national budget as he expects “bloody and sweaty” bicameral conference committee meetings.
His expectations are on the following aspects.
That first and foremost, “The senators to be firm on what they have agreed in both plenary and in our informal discussions in the lounge”, Lacson noted.
Today, Monday is the period of amendments and approval for the second and third reading.
But last Saturday, Lacson suggested that the bicameral conference committee on the proposed 2019 national budget to be more transparent by identifying the lawmakers and the amendments they would introduce to the spending bill.
Senator Lacson who is a known fighter against pork barrel funds in the budget asked for the realignment of some P75 billion added to the Department of Public Works and Highways without the agency’s knowledge.
His unwavering crusade against pork barrel is based on the fact that there are lawmakers who have abused their legislative powers as they enjoy the fruits of tens of millions of pesos worth of “pork barrel” allocations.
Furthermore, Lacson also po8inted out that the Supreme Court had declared pork barrel allocations as illegal way back in the Aquino administration.
Last December 2018, the Senator revealed about the insertions of some pork allocations in the national budgets but was denied by her colleague Senator Loren Legarda, Chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Specifically, Lacson identified that P1.9 billion in “pork barrel” for the lawmaker from Lubao, Pampanga was also inserted, thus his call for real transparency is so strong.
Meanwhile, Malacañang wants for the immediate approval of the budget bill so that new infrastructure could be funded under the “Build, Build, Build Projects.”
Interestingly, the Philippines is getting more corrupt in the 2017 Corruption Index published by Transparency International and there has been various of cases of abuses of misuse of pork barrel since time immemorial by some unscrupulous politicians. This is the very reason why Senator Lacson has been against the pork barrel since he became a Senator in 2001.