Suarez calls on senators to be transparent on budget issue

Published March 12, 2019, 3:54 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Ben Rosario

The first to accuse is not always the innocent.

House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez threw this reminder at the Senate as he urged senators to be more forthcoming in responding to calls for transparency with regards budgetary insertions made by its members in the proposed  2019 General Appropriations Act.

House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez (KJ ROSALES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez (KJ ROSALES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“Tito Sotto should also be transparent,” said Suarez as he noted that senators have refused to respond to a call from Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. for the Senate to reveal details of how it re-apportioned some P75 billion in additional allocation for senators.

“I think they (senators) should do the same  – itemize how you will spend your money,” said Suarez.

The House official noted that unlike the Lower House, which made clear particulars of the inserted budget, the Senate has ignored calls that it also identifies the details of additional allocation it will get from the 2019 national budget.

He aired confidence that Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Andaya and the House contingent invited to a meeting with President Duterte Tuesday night will be able to convince the chief executive that there was nothing illegal by the House act of detailing the expenditures for the P75 billion Health Equipment and Facilities Program of the Department of Health.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III has accused the Lower House of getting P79 billion in questionable allocations that were identified only after the bicameral conference committee report on the budget was already ratified.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, accused former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of being behind the illegal amendments of the bicameral conference committee report.

Information about the accusations hurled by the two senators may have come from disgruntled House members who lost substantial allocation for their respective congressional districts as a result of Arroyo’s order for the equitable distribution of budget to all.

Congressmen said Lacson and Sotto should be transparent about how the allocations they requested will be spent.

“It has been pointed out that some districts received more than others.  We hope our good Senators would understand that each district, municipality, and city possess district and incomparable financial requirements to fulfill the various health care demands of their respective areas,” said Suarez.

Suarez also scoffed at Lacson’s claim that the itemized cost of ambulances that will be distributed to congressional districts has been overpriced by at least P1 million by placing the price at over P2 million per unit.

He pointed out that the purchase of the ambulance will be made by the Department of Health (DOH) and that public bidding will have to be conducted.

Suarez also noted that ambulances loaded with emergency equipment would cost more than P3 million.

 
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Suarez calls on senators to be transparent on budget issue

Published March 12, 2019, 7:57 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ben Rosario

The first to accuse is not always the innocent.

House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez threw this reminder at the Senate as he urged senators to be more forthcoming in responding to calls for transparency with regards budgetary insertions made by its members in the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Act.

House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez (KJ ROSALES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez (KJ ROSALES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“Tito Sotto should also be transparent,” said Suarez as he noted that senators have refused to respond to a call from Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. for the Senate to reveal details of how it re-apportioned some P75 billion in additional allocation for senators.

“I think they (senators) should do the same – itemize how you will spend your money,” said Suarez.

The House official noted that unlike the Lower House, which made clear particulars of the inserted budget, the Senate has ignored calls that it also identifies the details of additional allocation it will get from the 2019 national budget.

He aired confidence that Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Andaya and the House contingent invited to a meeting with President Duterte Tuesday night will be able to convince the chief executive that there was nothing illegal by the House act of detailing the expenditures for the P75 billion Health Equipment and Facilities Program of the Department of Health.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III has accused the Lower House of getting P79 billion in questionable allocations that were identified only after the bicameral conference committee report on the budget was already ratified.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, accused former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of being behind the illegal amendments of the bicameral conference commmittee report.

Information about the accusations hurled by the two senators may have come from disgruntled House members who lost substantial allocation for their respective congressional districts as a result of Arroyo’s order for the equitable distribution of budget to all.

Congressmen said Lacson and Sotto should be transparent about how the allocations they requested will be spent.

“It has been pointed out that some districts received more than others. We hope our good Senators would understand that each district, municipality, and city possess district and incomparable financial requirements to fulfill the various health care demands of their respective areas,” said Suarez.

Suarez also scoffed at Lacson’s claim that the itemized cost of ambulances that will be distributed to congressional districts has been overpriced by at least P1 million by placing the price at over P2 million per unit.

He pointed out that the purchase of the ambulance will be made by the Department of Health (DOH) and that public bidding will have to be conducted.

Suarez also noted that ambulances loaded with emergency equipment would cost more than P3 million.

 
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