'Bumukol dito, bumukol doon': Lacson says even NEP not perfect
Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said he is determined to root out pork barrel insertions in the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for 2020, saying not even the National Expenditure Program from the budget department is perfect.
Speaking to radio DZMM, Lacson said senators are ready to scrutinize the budget until the wee hours of the morning to remove any pork barrel insertions. The House of Representatives is scheduled to transmit House Bill 4228 or the 2020 Budget to the Senate by October 1.
"Bumukol dito, bumukol doon...Talagang pagpupuyatan 'yan. Minsan kami inaabot ng alas 2 or alas 3 kapag budget season at parating may nakikita," he said.
Lacson said he earlier discovered overlapping projects in the NEP covering about 300 linear meters at a cost of P11.5 million "that was not removed from the cost of the projects."
The senator has been engaged in a word war with members of the House of Representatives after saying House members would supposedly get P700 million in allocations under the proposed P4.1-trillion budget, with an additional P1.6 billion for each of the 22 deputy speakers.
Lacson won’t stop ‘pork’ scrutiny, amid halt in Senate-House budget beef
In a press briefing, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano described Lacson as a friend but said the budget approved by the Lower House will pass scrutiny. Last year, the Senate wrangled with the House under Speaker Gloria Arroyo over the 2019 budget, which eventually led to the President’s veto of some P95-billion in projects realigned by the House.
For his part, Lacson questioned the increase of the national budget - pointing out that the government had less than P800 billion national budget in 2002 when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was president.
"We are now at P4.1 trillion. Umasenso ba tayo in terms of livelihood, in terms of infrastructure?" he asked.
RADIO DZMM, October 1, 2019