Ayon sa co-convenor ng Social Watch Philippines na si Ma. Victoria Raquiza, madaling pasukan ng mga arbitraryong alokasyon ang re-enacted budget ng Ehekutibo nang hindi nalalaman ng Kongreso.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
'Re-enacted budget' prone sa korapsyon — watchdog
James Relativo (Philstar.com) - January 18, 2019 - 10:51am

MANILA, Philippines — Nagbabala ang isang budget watchdog na malaki ang posibilidad na magamit sa maling paraan tulad ng panagangampanya ang re-enacted budget, dahilan para papaspasan nila ang pagpapasa ng 2019 national budget.

Ayon sa co-convenor ng Social Watch Philippines na si Ma. Victoria Raquiza, madaling pasukan ng mga arbitraryong alokasyon ang re-enacted budget ng Ehekutibo nang hindi nalalaman ng Kongreso.

“Without an approved budget, this may increase the use of lump sum budget items like special purpose funds or unprogrammed funds for discretionary purposes. The budget for 2019 has wide-ranging implications on election spending,” ayon kay Raquiza.

Ipinatupad ang re-enacted budget matapos abutan ng bakasyon ang mga mambabatas noong Disyembre nang hindi naipapasa ang P3.757 trilyong national budget noong nakaraang taon, dahilan para gamitin ng gobyerno ang outlay ng 2018.

Sa kasaysayan, inihalintulad ng ilang grupo ang special purpose funds at unprogrammed funds bilang "pork barrel" ng pangulo na hindi basta-basta masisilip kung saan ginagamit.

Dahil dito, pinagmamadali na ng SWP ang Kongreso na maipasa na ang General Appropriations Act of 2019.

Maliban sa takot na magamit ito sa eleksyon, naiipit daw ng pagpapatagal sa budget ang mahahalagang proyekto ng gobyerno.

“Operating under a re-enacted budget effectively means that funding for basic goods and services necessary to protect, if not uplift, peoples’ standard of living such as additional provision of cash assistance for the poorest or health support, will be effectively hampered. Further delay in the passage of the proposed budget law would be unfair to our people,” dagdag ni Raquiza.

Sa ilalim ng re-enacted budget, hindi mapopondohan ang mga panibagong programa at proyekto para sa 2019.

Ito ang unang beses na na-delay ang budget sa loob ng siyam na taon.

'Malapit nang maipasa'

Sa isang press conference, pinawi naman ni presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo ang pangamba ng marami.

Aniya, sinabi raw ni House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa Ehekutibo na malapit na itong maipasa.

“Hindi na kailangan (It’s not necessary). I am sure they will be passing that naman. They are all concerned with the services, the infrastructures that will be affected,”
wika ni Panelo.

Noong Miyerkules, sinabi naman ni budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno na siguradong bibilisan ng mga mambabatas ang pagaapruba sa panibagong outlay dahil mababawasan ang oras sa pangangampanya ng mga tatakbo sa eleksyon.

"The budget will be approved by the end of the month and end up on the president’s desk by first week of February... Because there’s an election and they will go on recess by February 14 to 15. They will hit the road for their campaign by the middle of February," sabi ng kalihim.

Magsisimula ang official campaign period para sa 2019 midterm elections mula ika-12 ng Pebredo hanggang ika-11 ng Mayo.

“Because if they don’t pass the budget, we’ll call them to a special session again and again and again. So that will take time away from their campaign... That’s why I’m confident," dagdag ni Diokno.

Target ng Senado na maipasa ang proposed 2019 national budget sa susunod na linggo.

2019 NATIONAL BUDGET DISCRETIONARY FUNDS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SOCIAL WATCH PHILIPPINES SPECIAL PURPOSE FUNDS UNPROGRAMMED FUNDS
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