Monday, January 18, 2021

Lawmakers Urged To Disclose Budget Amendments

Lawmakers Urged To Disclose Budget Amendments

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In the spirit of transparency, Senator Panfilo Lacson urged fellow lawmakers to make public their proposed amendments to the 2020 national budget.

Lacson said disclosing budget amendments could dispel any suspicion that these are laden with “pork barrel.”

“We should make everything public. That includes all amendments we submit, whether institutional or individual. We have our own websites, we should use them for this purpose, as I did for the 2019 budget,” Lacson said in a radio interview.

“Most if not all lawmakers have their own websites. Why not post their amendments there, for the public to scrutinize?” Lacson added.

He said that in the past years, some lawmakers submit their amendments to their respective finance or appropriations chairpersons without having them go through floor deliberations.

“Instead of having their amendments undergo scrutiny in-floor deliberations, some lawmakers propose their amendments verbally, or even scribble them on napkins,” he said.

The senator said the people have the right to know where their taxes are going, especially amid a growing national debt that stands at more than PHP7.9 trillion.

“The national budget involves the people’s money. It should benefit the people and not a few senators or congressmen or even government officials who implement projects. And the budget is funded by our taxes, as well as borrowings if our tax collections fall short,” he said. (PNA)

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