Members of the Makabayan bloc also denied being among beneficiaries of the pork barrel, saying they were not asked by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to submit lists of projects they wished to be covered in the supposed P100 million per House member.
Michael Varcas
Militant lawmakers vow to block selective ‘pork’
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The bloc of militant party-list lawmakers in the House of Representatives yesterday vowed to oppose the reported plan to include P35-billion pork barrel funds in the proposed 2020 national budget.

Members of the Makabayan bloc also denied being among beneficiaries of the pork barrel, saying they were not asked by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to submit lists of projects they wished to be covered in the supposed P100 million per House member.

This means the DBM was selective in asking for endorsement from lawmakers and that the supposed pork barrel will not cover all 305 members of the House, contrary to an earlier report.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said their group would scrutinize the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget to make sure there will be no appropriations similar to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which were both declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Zarate, one of the petitioners in the SC ruling that struck down PDAF and DAP during the previous administration, lamented that the pork barrel system is still being practiced but has been redesigned to comply with the SC ruling.

“We all know that the DBM itself has designed a scheme to provide allocations for lawmakers. They may say it’s no longer the pork barrel as defined by the SC decision because there’s no more lump sums and post-enactment interventions by lawmakers. They may call it insertion or augmentation, but it’s still the same patronage system that allows corruption,” he stressed in an interview.

Zarate suggested that the allocations should no longer pass through the lawmakers and should go directly to the agencies providing services to the public.

“We will continue to engage on this issue because we believe that there are leakages in those projects endorsed by lawmakers which could be sources of corruption even if you say that they are implemented well. We should oppose this,” the lawmaker vowed.

The STAR reported last week that some P35.2 billion in pork barrel funds of senators and congressmen will be embedded in the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget that Malacañang is set to submit to Congress next week.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PROPOSED 2020 NATIONAL BUDGET
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