MANILA, Philippines — As the committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives meet Thursday to discuss the final version of the proposed P3.767-trillion budget for 2018, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon called for transparency and assurance of a “pork-free” appropriations.
Drilon said the bicameral conference committee meeting should be able to explain why the budget of some agencies in the Senate version increased substantially, while others suffered huge cuts.
“May I propose that the good sponsor submit in plenary the justifications for the amendments that are over P1 billion?” Drilon asked, to which Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, agreed.
Drilon also wanted the proponents of the amendments to be specified and spread into the record.
“We would like the committee to submit to each member of the Senate, and for the record, the nature and purpose of these changes in the agencies’ budget, particularly those with over P1 billion in addition,” he said.
“We cannot leave our people in the dark as it would only fuel speculations that pork barrel is still thriving despite the Supreme Court’s decision declaring it unconstitutional,” Drilon added.
Below are the agencies listed by Drilon whose budget changes resulted in net of over P1 billion.