Salary hike for teachers possible if lawmakers cut infra budgets: Lacson
MANILA — It will be difficult to fund President Rodrigo Duterte's promise of raising the salary of public school teachers unless lawmakers reduce the budget for their own infrastructure projects, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday.
"Maski sa 2020, baka mahirapan unless magbawas tayo ng budget para sa mga iba. Marami roon iyong tinatawag VLIP, various local infrastructure projects. Karamihan ito proyekto ng mga kongresista, mga legislator sabihin na natin," he told radio DZMM.
"Kung magbabawas tayo doon, puwede tayong makahalungkat ng pondo, pero sa ngayon, as is, medyo mahihirapan," he added.
(Even in 2020, we may find it difficult unless we slash the budget for other items. There are many so-called VLIPs or various local infrastructure projects. Most of these are projects of congressmen, let's say legislators. If we reduce that, we may be able to draw funds, but right now, as is, we might find it difficult.)
The government, he noted, is also scrounging funds for the pension increase of military and uniformed personnel, including P9.6 billion for January to May.
The budget department and economic managers should look into unused appropriation that average P280 billion a year, said Lacson.
"Alam ko namang pinag-aaralan nila ito. 'Pag mahina iyong utilization rate, binabawasan nila iyong department, pero ganoon pa rin e, taon-taon talagang ang laki. Nagugulat nga ako, bakit hindi magamit, hingi naman kayo nang hingi ng dagdag," he said.
(I know they're studying it. If the utilization rate is low, the department's funding is cut, but it's still the same, the unused appropriation is still big every year. I'm surprised that they keep asking for funds, but some are not utilized.)
DZMM, October 9, 2019