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Singit na pork, budget delay ‘pangamba’ sa 2021 nat’l budget (Ayon sa UP prof at Senado)

NAGBABALA nitong Biyernes ang prominenteng professor ng University of the Philippines (UP) tungkol sa maaaring pagkaantala ng 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB), at ang pinangangambahang ‘pork insertions’ sa ilalim ng liderato ng bagong  House Speaker na si Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

Ito’y matapos ianunsiyo ni Senate President Vicente Sotto III na ‘somebody from the House’ ang nagsabing ipadadala sa Senado ang GAB sa 5 Nobyembre pa, gayong ang inaasahan nilang iskedyul ng pag-aproba nito sa third and final reading ay nitong Biyernes, 16 Oktubre, ang huling araw ng  Special Session na ipinatawag ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte.

“That’s the same thing, that’s the same proposal of Speaker Cayetano. If that’s the case it will still be delayed,” sabi ni Sotto sa Senate discussion nitong Huwebes habang tinatalakay ang corporate income tax reform bill na isinagawa via video conference.

Sa kanyang statement, sinabi ni Ranjit Rye, Assistant Professor of Political Science sa UP Diliman, na si Cayetano ay ‘tumpak’ sa proposed schedule na kanyang inirekomenda bago siya pinatalsik bilang House Speaker ng kampo ni Velasco.

“Velasco doesn’t have a better plan or new idea about the budget. He just wanted to be speaker,” sabi ni Rye.

Binigyang-diin ni Rye, isang observer ng Philippine politics na ang pananaw ay pinagkakatiwalaan ng  domestic at foreign media, walang delay sa ilalim ng proposal ni Cayetano dahil ang national budget ay  sumailalim na sa amendments bago aprobahan ng kamara sa third at final reading.

Sinabi niyang ito’y pagwawastos ng pagkakamali ng nakaraang gawain ng Kongreso sa pagpasa ng budget sa third reading bago ito sinusugan.

“The way Congressman Velasco is steering the budget, the House would approve it on third and final reading on Friday and then it will undergo amendments. That’s how they will insert pork and other irregularities in the budget,” ani Rye.

“When Speaker Cayetano moved to end the period of debates on the budget last week, he also moved that it enter into the period of amendments before the House votes on it with finality. That way every lawmaker can see exactly what the budget contains and it would be kept secure from insertions,” dagdag ng iginagalang na professor.

Sinabi ni Rye, dekada nang gumagawa ng polisiya at advocacy work sa Kongreso, na umaasa siyang si Velasco at ang House of Representatives “will now honor their agreement with the Filipino people to pass without delay a pro-people and pork-free national budget.”

“I recall that under Cayetano’s leadership, the House was able to pass a ‘pork-free’ 2020 national budget. Let’s hope the current Speaker will do the same,” dagdag niya.

Sa Senate discussion noong Huwebes, nagpahayag ng pangamba si Senador Panfilo Lacson na ang mga miyembro ng House ay maaaring magtrabaho sa pagitan ng 16 Oktubre hanggang 5 Nobyembre para masusugan ang budget.

“If  they will pass it on third reading tomorrow (Biyernes), I cannot understand why  they would transmit the GAB to us on November 5. Unless may plano na naman silang mag-amend after the third reading (they have a plan to amend it after the Third Reading),” sabi ni Lacson.

Gayondin ang sinabi ni Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, ito na raw ang ‘practice’ sa Kamara.

“Yes, Senator Ping. (That’s) exactly what they would do. They will pass it on third reading on record and then in the process of printing, they will accept amendments from individual members.”

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