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Senate prodded Senate prodded to reveal pork

to reveal pork Records of the bicanieral deliberations on the national budget would
By Hananeel Bordey
and Kristina Maralit
show that the fourth book was a condition put forward by the House
of Representatives during the initial stage of the bicam
When the 2 019 General
Appropriations Act (GAA) is approved Eom page I programs and projects of the senators they
by Presideni Roddgo Duterte before voted into office,' Andaya explained.
the Holy Week break, it will be the Malacaiang yesterilay, ending months of This was c0nsistent with l{ouse efforts to
most, transparent GAA ever due to impasse caused by back-and-fofth accusations make the budget transparent and accountable
four volumes ol supporting books, a thtown by both chambers of Congress by itemizing the projects and programs in the
first in an annual budget. against each other over alleged insertions expenditure plan, a process which the Senate
After months of delay, President and questionable realignments, which forced rejected.
Ii0drigo Dutefte the national government to Operate on a The SC's ruling directed lawmakers to
is set to sign the reenacted budget at the start of the year. adopt a 'detailed' line-item budgeting to
2 019 General It would be th€ first time the national justify the appropriations to the president
Appropriations, budget will contain details 0f budget items who will approve the programs and projects.
Bill (CAB) on 16, in compliance to a 2013 Supreme Court (SC) "We agree with the High Court's decision
April, before the i ruling decladng the Priority Development as line-item budgeting clearly spells out
government goes \l Assistance Fund (PDAF) unconstitutional the specific projects to be giYen allocation
on a Holy Week g along with other lumpsum appropriations. and where these projects shall be located,'
break, 'Records of the bicaneral deliberatiOns Andaya said.
This was Ht{ on the national budget would show that the Mr. Dutede will affix his signature to
fourth book was a condition put forward by the Foposed P3.75?-tdllion expenditure in a
;r";'.Ti$lJI the House of Representatives dudng the initial ceremony to be held in the Palace 0n Monday
released by stage of the bicam (Bicameral Conference afl,ernoon.
\n fun to page 2 Committee) and accepted by the tenate
contingent," House Appbpdations Committee This was consistent with House
chairman Rep. Rolando Ardaya Jr. said. efforts to make the budget
transparent and accountable.
The public release of the new budget
law will leave our esteemed senators The President, as is his practice in previous
no choice but to identify their years, is expected t0 veto certain GAB
inilividual realignments. provisions, although it was not clear which
stipulaiions, whether the P?5-billion "pork
Specifying the projects and programs barrel' allocated for public works, would be
the fourth book containing all affected.
made by lawmakers from A copy of the 2018 GAB was sent to
chambers will force the senators Malacaflang last 26 March following th€
their amendments. deadlock between the Senate and llouse of
Represent atives.
from High Court Both chambers engaged in a standoff due
public release of the new to alleged poshatification amendments d0ne
law will leave our esteemed by the House in the charter which the Senate
no choice but to identify their viewed as unconstitutional.
vidual realignments, It will lapse into law 30 days after receipt
which found print in the if the Chief Executive fails to act on it.
GAA (General
AcO. TrNnspa.rency committed
doing so can Andaya explained the move in the budgeta,ry
be made process was their response to public deriund
the pet for transparency and accountability,
The lump sums are more Prone to
corruption and may violate the tenets of
AQc " expenditure of public funds, he