MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The progressive partylist Bayan Muna dismayed over the approval of 2011 national budget that only favors former President and congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“I did not expect the Budget to be voted upon last night especially since there was a commitment to look into the P2.2 billion pork of Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her district. I was surprised that we were forced to vote on a bill that hasn’t even been reviewed by the members of the House,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares said on the sudden approval of the budget last night.
He said that the Aquino Administration is reneging on its zero-based budget policy by retaining billions of pesos in lump sum. “Lump sum budgetting is anathema to the zero-based budget policy of the Aquino Government,” he said as he was explaining the basis of his “NO” vote. He added that based on this policy the budget should be according to the actual needs of the people. Lump sums are amorphous amounts that is not based on actual needs and very vulnerable to corruption,” he stated.
Colmenares said that if a budget is based on actual needs, it is incumbent on the Congress to investigate whether the P2.2 billion of Pampanga Rep. Arroyo is intended and spent on the needs of the people of Pampanga and not on corruption.
“The Aquino Government should be able to explain to the people why it slashed funding from the State Colleges and Universities, the OFW Legal Assistance Fund, and the health budget but allowed billions to be spent in Gloria Arroyo’s District,” he demanded.