House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

From the start, the Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the 2020 budget had no pork barrel, no parked funds and it was not delayed.

Proof of this were the details of the institutional amendments they approved that showed where they intend to realign  9.52 billion pesos from the right of ways funds of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections that will be cancelled.

The lion’s share went to the Department of Agriculture: 3 billion to augment the budget for the purchase of unhusked rice and 500 million for its quick response fund.

The police and military got a billion each for the development of camps.

Additional funds also went to the Department of Education for the K to 12 program and agencies related to health.

The Metro Manila Development Authority got its share for the increase in salaries, additional funds for drug rehab centers and sports.

The speaker hoped everyone, including the Senate, can scrutinize the budget instead of engaging in rumor mongering.

“I won’t respond to chismis anyone of them senador man, congressman, member of the media or simbahan  konsehal, tell me where pork is, I’ll sit down with you. If people give us chismis and say ‘my sources’, how do I respond to that pag nakipagchismisan ka chismoso ka rin,” Cayetano said.

The Speaker believed Sen. Panfilo Lacson still has a hangover from what went on in previous congresses.

“Senator na binabanggit mo isang kaibigan. Di niya matanggap itong House na ito is also anti- pork,” Cayetano said.

House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez  said the criticisms against the House approved budget is “premature” since he says the budget will still be deliberated at the Senate and then discussed in the bicameral conference.

Deputy Speaker Lray Villafuerte said it is not wrong for the Lower Chamber to create a small committee that accepted amendments even after the bill was approved on third and final reading

“30 years ago, pag kinwestyon po nila yan ibig sabihin yung budget for the past 30 years iligalHindi po, legal po yan. Nasa Constitution na Congress, the Senate and the House can formulate their own rules of procedure.” said.

The House is scheduled to transmit the 2020 budget to the Senate for its scrutiny by October. (Jasper Camilo)