Arroyo assures: No zero budget for any solon under my watch

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2018 05:20 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2018 09:43 PM

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assured on Friday that no lawmaker from her chamber would be deprived of a budget for their constituents.

This is in stark contrast to her ousted predecessor, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez who gave zero budget to some opposition lawmakers.

"We're not going to give zero budget to anybody, even those people who don't like me at all," she told reporters in Bulacan where she witnessed the turnover of dredging equipment.

Arroyo said she already has a list of House members who were deprived of a budget and assured that they will receive funding for their constituents.

"Nakuha na yung listahan ng mga zero budget, bibigyan sila ng budget as a gesture of goodwill...hindi sila ze-zero,” she said.

(We already have the list of lawmakers with zero budget, we will give them a budget as a gesture of goodwill...They will not be zeroed.)

In December last year, a reliable ABS-CBN News source confirmed that about 24 district and party-list representatives have no infrastructure project under the 2018 national budget.

Alvarez claimed that not all 24 lawmakers named in a list that circulated among House reporters lost their projects for their districts. 

In January this year, Alvarez courted controversy again when he threatened zero budget for those who would not back the cause of federalism, before he walked it back as a joke.