MANILA - A lawmaker on Friday refuted the claims of Senator Panfilo Lacson that each congressman will receive as much as P700 million under the proposed 2020 national budget.
Anakalusugan Representative Michael Defensor told ANC's Early Edition that the House approved budget is P15.6 billion, higher than last year's P14-B.
"Walang ganung P700 million, walang P1.5 billion," Defensor said.
Defensor said the increase in the House budget was due to the growing number of lawmakers.
"I'd like to clarify na nagdagdag ng membership ang House from 297 to 306. This will happen by next year. Yung iba may mga problema pa, eventually, we will be 306," he said.
He stressed that the budget is not for congressmen but intended to pay for employees of Congress, security, admin and legislative staff among others.
Some lawmakers are demanding an apology from Lacson for alleging that the 2020 national budget proposed by the chamber had insertions of discretionary funds or pork barrel.
Lacson had alleged that congressmen would supposedly get P700 million each while P1.5 billion would be allotted to each of the 22 deputy speakers under the proposed spending plan.
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda earlier said lawmakers were entitled to a P100-million allocation under the proposed 2020 national budget.
He said P70 million would be allotted for “hard” or infrastructure projects, while P30 million would be for “soft” projects such as medical and educational assistance.
"In the P100-M, we were discussing ano 'yung mga proposed programs ninyo," he said.