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Senate eyes review of PNP P900-M 'Double Barrel' budget

A total of P900 million was earmarked for the administration’s anti-war operations Oplan Double Barrel for 2018—4,4000 percent jump from this year’s P20 million budget. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate is reviewing the possibility of cutting the budget of Oplan Tokhang in light of President Rodrigo Duterte's order designating the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to take the lead in the government’s war on drugs.

Sen. Loren Legarda, Senate Finance committee chair, said the allocation for the Philippine National Police’s anti-narcotics operations may be reduced or moved to other items in the budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government or of other agencies.

“We will see the P900-million Double Barrel [budget]... how much of that is for the upkeep of police stations? How much is for firearms? How much of that is for buy-bust operations? We will rationalize that and remove what is no longer needed or is not beneficial... and reallocate the money to other agencies or items in the DILG budget,” Legarda said.

A total of P900 million was earmarked for the administration’s Double Barrel anti-drug program for 2018—an astronomical jump from this year’s P20 million budget.

Put money in calamity response, education, housing

Sen. Risa Hontiveros also proposed to realign the budget for Oplan Double Barrel during the interpellations for the 2018 budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

She said the budget should be allocated for infusion of additional funds to calamity, education and housing loans and capacity building of PNP personnel, among others. 

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Lawmaker and human rights groups expressed their concern over the proposal to increase the budget for anti-narcotics operations, saying it will result in more violations and deaths.

READDuterte: PDEA now 'sole agency' in charge of drug war

The Senate has suspended plenary deliberations on the proposed P3.8-trillion national budget for 2018 as Congress goes on a month-long break starting Wednesday.

The debates on the proposed national budget will continue when Congress resumes session on Nov. 13, with the aim of having the same signed into law by early December.

READBudget deliberations suspended as Senate goes on break

 
Sen. Loren Legarda, who chairs the Senate finance committee, said debates on the proposed national budget would continue when Congress resumes session on Nov. 13, with the aim of having the same signed into law by early December.

Sen. Loren Legarda, who chairs the Senate finance committee, said debates on the proposed national budget would continue when Congress resumes session on Nov. 13, with the aim of having the same REAREAsigned into law by early December.

 

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