House Majority leader revealed lawmakers get Php8 billion allocation: "To clarify SGMA getting bigger budget in her district.." - The Daily Sentry

Sunday, December 9, 2018

House Majority leader revealed lawmakers get Php8 billion allocation: "To clarify SGMA getting bigger budget in her district.."

Congressman Martin Romualdez, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and candidate for Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez during a Christmas cocktail buffet dinner at Dasmarinas Village in Makati City. Photo by Ver Noveno
A house leader said that Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ranked 100th among the 292 members of the House of Representatives on a post shared in Facebook by a netizen named Adolf Mortera. 

According to House Majority Floor Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr., who chairs the House Committee on Rules, said a maximum P8-billion fund was placed for the projects of a lawmaker that he did not identify.

"Diretsuhin na po natin, I think the persons referred to are the Speaker and myself na lumalabas na napalaki ng allocation na binigay sa mga distrito. Just to clarify ang allocation ng ating speaker, she’s actually ranked about 100. Around 99 congressmen na mas malaki po ang allocation sa kanilang distrito" he said.

Senator Ping Lacson accusations

Senator Panfilo "Ping"Lacson accused House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Andaya on huge allocations to their districts which he clarified the accusations and said to set the facts straight and put things in their proper perspective.

"We are talking about, we are dealing with institutions here that…. Ang sa akin lang, we just want to clarify the situation sa lumabas, na hindi po totoo yun," he said.

Andaya's district on the other hand is in the 186th place. "Ang sa akin naman po, I am ranked 186th sa allocation sa mga distrito," he said. He said even in Pampanga, Speaker Arroyo did not receive the biggest allocation. "Kung titingnan po natin ang probinsya ng Pampanga, yung kay Speaker hindi pa rin po sa kanya malaking allocation. May mas malaking allocation sa distrito sa kanya at doon naman sa akin sa Camarines Sur, ako po ang pinakamaliit na allocation sa aming pong probinsya," he said.

Andaya admitted that he and Arroyo were the two lawmakers being referred to by Lacson in his blind item of having received huge congressional allocations under the national budget.

Last Wednesday, Lacson said a congresswoman from Pampanga and a congressman from Camarines Sur had the biggest budget insertions in the 2019 budget with the Pampanga district getting P2.4 billion worth of projects while P1.9 billion was allocated for the Camarines Sur district.

When asked if he or Speaker Arroyo felt they were singled out, Andaya said it was just normal considering the two of them represent the House leadership.

"I think it’s natural naman na ganun tayo na kami ngayon ang nagrerepresenta ng leadership ng Kamara. Kaya naman kung titingnan, kami talaga ang mauuna yung nasa liderato pero yung nga yung ganong klaseng pagtingin might give a wrong impression kaya nga pinapaliwanag ko ngayon na hindi po ganoon ang kabuuang litrato," he stated.

He added, "i’m just here to clarify the situation. If they feel they want to do it (identify the other lawmakers who got bigger allocations), then wala naman pong magagawa eh. Ang amin lang, we’re also exercising restraint din naman sa parte namin out of respect sa aming kapitbahay. Again, we are dealing with an institution here. Not just one or two senators, but the institution."

On the alleged P16 billion of DBM

Andaya clarified that at this point when the budget is already in Congress, the DBM need not be consulted since it is only Congress that has the power to determine if the allocations are in accordance with the implementing guidelines set by the DBM.

"Nasa part na po tayo ngayon ng budget authorization. Wala na pong papel ang DBM. Hindi nga, kahit hindi mo na sya kailangan konsultahin. Hindi na. I”ll give you an example. Nung nakaraang dalawang taon, yung Universal Tertiary Fund (free college education), hindi po kinonsulta ang DBM doon. In fact against ang DBM doon pero sa Bicam nilagay yun at natuloy nga (ang paglagay ng budget)," he said.

“Siguro it would be fair na sabihin din nila (senador) at saan inilagay ‘yung pondo nila sa budget. Ang sistema na ginawa nila bago iprinisenta ‘yung budget sa Congress, napasok na po nila yung requests,” said Andaya who said that except Lacson, all senators pushed for the funding of their projects.


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