Recent Posts

Breaking News

Congress need not itemize funds Duterte could realign to fight COVID-19

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Sunday said there was no need to itemize the funds under the special measure aimed at addressing the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat which Congress will tackle during a Special Session Monday, March 23.

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson
(CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Lacson said the bill, which seeks to give the President the discretion to realign funds needed to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 disease, will have specific parameters to ensure the funds would be utilized properly.

“Hindi naman kailangan i-itemize. Kailangan lang malinaw ang parameters. General ang binigay nating authority sa Pangulo na mag-realign (There’s no need to itemize. We only need to ensure the parameters are clear. We giving the President a general authority to realign funds),” Lacson said in an interview over GMANews TV.

“Pero magkano ire-realign, define natin saan kukunin. Kung kulang…mag-a-amend kami (We need to define how much funds would be realigned and where it will be sourced from. If it’s not enough, then we will amend),” Lacson said.

Lacson clarified Congress was not passing a supplemental budget, but a measure that would give the President power to realign funds from the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) or unused funds under the 2019 GAA to be used as food and cash assistance for families and informal workers affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the projected budget needed to help 16.5 million Filipinos nationwide would be P200-billion for at least two months. Lacson, however, said he believes the P200-billion would not be enough.

That is why, Lacson said lawmakers should put certain mechanisms in place to ensure that the funds would not be used for corruption once the anti-COVID-19 measure is implemented.

“Hindi pwede ang shotgun approach, kasi magkakawindang-windang ito kung saan mapupunta ito sa hindi nangangailangan. (You can’t apply a shotgun approach, because if you do, everyone will be confused and the financial help will not reach those who are deeply in need),” Lacson said.

“Kailangan kumpleto tayo, correct ang data natin para tukoy natin kung sino ang bibigyan, (We need to ensure we have complete and correct data so we can identify who must be given aid),” Lacson stressed.

“Ang mahirap diyan baka mapulitika pa. Sa 4P’s may narinig tayo sino ang bata-bata ng barangay officials, yan na lang nakalista, (What is difficult is when politics comes in. I heard that those under the 4Ps are complaining that only those who know the barangay officials are the only ones listed),” he pointed out.



Source: Manila Bulletin

No comments