MANILA - Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Saturday said pork barrel allocations would not get past the upper chamber after a lawmaker said each congressman will get P100 million in the 2020 budget.
Sotto said the Senate and its finance committee and subcommittee, led by Senators Sonny Angara and Panfilo Lacson, will scrutinize next year's national expenditure program.
"We’ll see it, alam mo naman sa Senado, meron kaming subcommittee chair na si Sen. (Panfilo) Lacson na gumamagit ng fine-tooth comb. Kung di makakalusot kay Angara, di rin makakalusot kay Ping yun," he said in a radio interview.
The allocation could just be "bottom-up budget requests" by local government units to their representatives, Sotto said.
"We may call it pork barrel but it could just be a bottom-up budgeting. Ayoko namang magbintang agad," he said.
The Senate president said the chamber might pass the budget on second or third reading by end of November, and begin bicameral deliberation by the first week of December.
The House of Representatives last Friday approved the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget bill on third and final reading, a process that was expedited upon the President Duterte's order.