Social Watch Philippines questions ‘pork barrel’ in 2017 Budget | SWP Press Release Sep 2 2016
SocialWatch Phils·Saturday, September 3, 2016
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) expressed alarm over reports that ‘pork barrel’ exist in the 2017 National Expenditure Program (NEP) in which legislators will continue to identify projects in the agency budget even as the Supreme Court declared it as unconstitutional in 2013.
The budget watch group also lauded Sen. Panfilo Lacson for raising the same concern, rightfully advising the legislators to not intervene in the crafting of the annual budget since it would be encroaching on the function of the executive branch.
The group supports the call of Sen. Lacson to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to reveal the alleged projects proposed by the legislators, reportedly amounting to P80 million pesos and more.
“We hope this government will abide by its promised change and veer away from the irregular practice of inserting projects that will render the agency hostage to the whims of the legislators. Sen. Lacson was right in citing conflict of interest. How can the legislators examine the budget submitted by the Executive when their ‘pet’ projects are embedded in these proposals?” explained Marivic Raquiza, Co-convenor of SWP.
“While House representatives will understandably be concerned about the impact of the national budget on their local constituents, Congress' power of the purse is focused on the big picture, and the need for legislators to scrutinize and amend the national budget as a whole to ensure that it will serve as a genuine equalizer to address poverty, hunger and joblessness, and promote regional as well as national development”, Raquiza added.
The group urged the legislators to stand up for the change promised by this administration and abide by their mandate to review the budget allocation and put in place mechanisms that will safeguard people’s money from squander and misuse. (END)
Leonor Magtolis Briones Marivic Raquiza Isagani R Serrano Jeck Reyes-Cantos Rene Raya Janet Crndng
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