Congress made ‘adjustments’ in 2020 budget for gov’t programs — Cayetano

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Congress made ‘adjustments’ in 2020 budget for gov’t programs — Cayetano

(Philstar.com) – December 11, 2019 – 4:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — Both the Senate and the House of Representatives made adjustments in the proposed 2020 national budget to fully implement government programs, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig) said.

Both chambers of Congress have ratified the bicameral conference report approving the P4.1-trillion national budget for next year.

Cayetano stressed that the 2020 budget was passed “with no pork, no parked funds, and no delays with full transparency.”

“While there is no perfect budget, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have identified areas where funds have identified areas where funds have been underutilized for various reasons,” Cayetano said in a statement.

The House speaker said the adjustments were made for the programs such as the “Build, Build Build” infrastructure program and social welfare programs.

The early approval of the proposed budget gives President Rodrigo Duterte enough time to review the provisions of the General Appropriations Bill to make sure that it is aligned with the administration’s priority programs.

“We now leave it up to the departments, agencies, and the rest of the Executive branch to fully implement the projects and programs with no corruption and with full transparency,” Cayetano said.

‘Corruption-ridden’ budget, according to Lacson

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, claimed that the bicam report is “corruption-ridden.”

The senator did not sign the report after receiving a USB flash drive with files containing a supposed list of budget items inserted in the report.

Lacson said the bicam report still has lump sums and vaguely described projects.

“Pork is here to stay. I hope the president will again exercise his political will in vetoing line items that will obviously waste people’s tax money,” Lacson said. — Patricia Lourdes Viray