Briones: 2015 budget may be used for elections

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2014 02:03 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2014 10:03 PM

MANILA - Former National Treasurer turned budget watchdog Leonor Briones warned as much as P30 billion of the 2015 national budget may be used for the election campaign of 2016.

Briones earlier warned that the P2.6 trillion proposed national budget for 2015 is an election budget since it may be used for the political campaigns in the run up to the presidential election.

She said the P33.13 billion is from the assistance to local government units (ALGU). The ALGU is separate from the internal revenue allotment received by all local government units.

“Hindi klaro ano ang standard nito. All local governments receive IRA. Itong ALGU, ano’ng basis for selecting? So ang standard diyan, malalaman mo na lang after audit,” she added.

The same amount is also separate from the grassroots participatory budgeting program or GPBP worth some P20 billion, she said.

The GPBP allows LGUs to propose their own projects, but critics have derided it as a form of pork barrel for the local government units.

The ALGU is one of the special purpose funds under the discretion of the Office of the President.

Critics have said that these special purpose funds and unprogrammed funds - which total about P500 billion in the 2015 budget, are forms of presidential lump sums.

The executive earlier maintained only P40 billion are actually under presidential discretion.