MANILA- House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday shrugged off criticism over the P1.6 billion increase in the proposed 2020 budget of the House of Representatives.
Cayetano explained that part of the budget would be alloted for new committees.
"We are adding committees, we are adding a flagship programs committee," he told reporters.
The House leader dismissed as "fake news" claims that the chamber wants an additional P1.6 billion for its own budget to fund its 22 deputy speakers.
Under the 18th Congress, Cayetano increased the number of deputy speakers to 22 from 14.
“The P1.6-billion, first, is to enhance research, hindi puwedeng nakikipag-debate tayo dito na 'yung executive o 'yung mga industriya kumpleto sa research tapos tayo hindi," he said, noting that the chamber is planning to tap some professors on certain matters.
(We can't be holding debates here without a complete research.)
Cayetano said he is also looking at improving some facilities of the House.
"That's another thing that the funds are for, to improve the facilities so that the House of Representatives is the House of the People,” he said.