Commitment to ‘clean’ nat’l budget assured

HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez yesterday welcomed the statement of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar that pork barrel in the 2020 national budget is now a thing of the past.

“We are committed to work for transparency and accountability on the national budget. The statement of Secretary Villar was an affirmation of President Duterte’s promise not tolerate any pork barrel and corruption,” said Romualdez.

Romualdez said the House leadership under Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is committed to pass a constitutionally compliant national budget for year 2020.

“We will comply with the Supreme Court ruling that outlawed any form of pork barrel. Definitely, the pork barrel system is a thing of the past. Line item budgeting system will be strictly observed to ensure transparency and accountability in the disbursement of public funds.

“We also commend the President’s commitment through acting Budget Secretary  Avisado to ensure an equitable and corruption-free distribution of government  resources to further propel the economy,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez was reacting to Villar’s statement that the 2020 P4.1 trillion national budget does not contain illegal pork barrel and parked funds in response to the question of Cayetano during Tuesday’s budget hearing by the House Committee on Appropriations on the P534.3 billion budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).        RPP

During a press conference, House Minority Leader and Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante also rejected critics’ claims that next year’s national budget is loaded with pork barrel. “Napatunayan pong walang pork barrel, line item budgeting na. Ang mga departmento na po ang naglagay ng mga programa sa budget sa ibat-ibang lugar sa Pilipinas,” said Abante.

Whether it be private or public, Cayetano said the Chief Executive told him that “Alan, basta walang korapsyon. Tandaan ninyo, ang hinihingi ko walang  korapsyon.” He said the President told Romualdez and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco the same thing.