THE House committee on appropriations, chaired by Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, assured the public that the proposed 2017 national budget is porkless.
According to Nograles, while lawmakers were given the opportunity to propose projects for their constituents, they don’t have anything to do with the funding aspect.
“Post-budget projects are not allowed anymore, to avoid corruption and others of its kind,” Nograles said.
Allaying fears of the public of the possible return of pork barrel in the 2017 budget, Nograles asked people to trust the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte which is centered on transparency.
On Monday, the appropriations committee will start deliberating on the budget amounting to P3.35 trillion.
The thrust of the 2017 budget is to increase infrastructure projects for economic development.
This is the first budget under President Duterte’s term.
Meanwhile, administration allies Gabriela solons vowed to guard the budget process to ensure pork will not be part of it.
“Abiding by the Supreme Court decisions on the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the Priority Development Assistance Fund; in congruence with President Duterte’s battle against corruption and; in the interest of giving back to our people the services due them, we in Gabriela and in the Makabayan bloc commit to weed out pork, in all its forms and scrutinize the proposed 2017 budget in the House of Representatives,” the Gabriela party-list said.
Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus yesterday said they will extend all efforts to scrutinize every item in the proposed P3.35T budget.
Rep. Arlene Brosas for her part said that while it is notable that the Department of Education is once more getting a huge chunk of the budget “we want to know if the education sector is getting enough. We would also like to see why the Department of National Defense is getting a bigger budget than that of the Department of Social Welfare and Development or the Department of Health when we should be spending more on programs that care rather than kill.”
The DepEd is getting the biggest chunk of P567 billion.
Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno denied reports that each lawmaker will be given P80 million worth of projects.