Solons get P100M each in ’20 budget

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    ALBAY Rep. Joey Salceda yesterday said lawmakers are entitled up to P100 million worth of projects in the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020.

    Salceda, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, bared the congressional allocation as he reiterated there are no insertions or ‘pork barrel’ in the 2020 expenditure program.

    In a briefing in Malacañang, Salceda said there is no pork barrel inserted in next year’s budget but lawmakers will get “allocations” of up to P100 million that they can spend for their constituents.

    “Of course, there are allocations for my constituents. Who determined it? The executive,” he said, explaining that of the P100 million, P70 million is allotted for “hard” projects like infrastructure, while P30 million is for “soft” projects like medical and educational assistance.

    He said the P100 million allotment will not be given as lump sum funds.

    “As defined by the Supreme Court, there’s none (pork barrel),” he said.

    Salceda also said there will be “institutional amendments” introduced in the 2020 budget to support the education and health sectors and the military.

    President Duterte has certified the proposed 2020 budget as urgent and has sent the corresponding letters to the leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    The certification seeks to expedite the passage of the proposed budget that will fund the various programs and projects of the government and enable it to effectively perform its constitutional mandate.

    Salceda expressed confidence the proposed 2020 General Appropriations Bill will be approved at the House plenary by September 20, Friday, which is the “the earliest approved budget at the House in history.”

    This is in contrast to the re-enacted budget that the government operated under during the first quarter of 2019.