Senators want P51-B 'insertions' realigned or removed from 2019 budget

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2018 02:35 PM

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA - Some senators on Wednesday said they will move to delete some P50 billion worth of alleged discretionary funds supposedly inserted in the 2019 budget for some congressmen.

The House of Representatives earlier voted to remove some P51 billion from the Department of Public Works and Highways' 2019 budget after Secretary Mark Villar said he only asked for P485 billion, but was given P530 billion for next year.

Unjustified items will either be realigned or deleted from the budget, Senator Panfilo Lacson told reporters.

The Senate will "block" the passage of the 2019 budget if budget cuts and realignments cannot be justified, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said.

The House dropped its original Appropriations Committee Report 854 and replaced it with a Committee of the Whole report that reallocated P51 billion for education, health and infrastructure projects.

ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio questioned the realignment as the bulk of the funds allegedly remained as a lumpsum item under the DPWH.

"Only something like P10 billion [of the P51 billion] was allocated to the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Health," Tinio said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.

- with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News