By Ellson Quismorio
Appropriations committee chairman Rep. Karlo Nograles is urging Filipinos from all over the country–especially those living in the provinces–to participate in the House budget process via social media.
“The power of the purse belongs to the people, through their representatives in Congress, so their participation and input should be welcomed and encouraged,” reckoned Nograles, who nowadays uses the monicker “Ang Probinsyano.”
The Davao City 1st district congressman announced Monday that all budget hearings to be conducted in the House of Representatives (HOR) would be live-streamed in his Facebook page.
He said the public is welcome to share their sentiments regarding how agencies plan to use their respective budgets. The budget hearings will start tomorrow (Tuesday).
“It’s true that the Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse or the task of determining where to allot government funds,” explained Nograles, a lawyer who graduated from the Ateneo School of Law.
“But it is important for our people to realize that those of us in Congress wield this power because we were elected by our constituents to represent their interests and to fight for their welfare,” added the senatorial aspirant from the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) .
Last week, Malacañang submitted to Congress its proposed P3.757-trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2019. The NEP is the basis of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or the national budget.
“This is the money of the people, and these budget deliberations are a means by which the people—through their representatives in Congress—decide how to spend their money. They can and should have a say in how government uses its funds,” Nograles said in prodding the public to voice out their opinion.
Nograles said his goal as Appropriations chair is to pass a “pro-people, pro-probinsyano budget” that is consistent with the policy agenda of the President. Input from the public can help accomplish this goal, he said.
The first agencies to face the House panel in the budget deliberations will be the Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Finance, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Nograles earlier vowed to take up the cudgels for countryside dwellers in the budget hearings.