P501-B lump sum outlays questioned
• August 11, 2014
• Written by Jester P. Manalastas
• Published in Top Stories
THE House Independent Minority bloc led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has expressed strong opposition to the P501-billion lump sum appropriations or the Special Purpose Fund (SPF) for 2015.
In a statement, Romualdez said the lump sum funds under the proposed 2015 national budget does not give full details or information of allocation which may open to question the administration’s transparency.
“That amount is very huge and a Congress championing transparency and accountability that this administration has been bragging about should bar such appropriation because it does not provide the full details as to where the funds will be spent,” Romualdez stressed.
The independent minority group has spearheaded a two-day briefing on the P2.606 trillion General Appropriations Bill.
Yesterday, former National Treasurer Professor Leonor Briones presented to the group her review and assessment of the national budget where she questioned the hundreds of billions of pesos of lump sum funds.
Today, former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno will conclude the briefing by presenting his own views and personal observations based on the presentations made by Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad in the House of Representatives last week.
According to Romualdez, the review is aimed at providing House members with deeper knowledge and understanding of the national budget.
“With the review, we in the bloc will see to it that the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) will not be recycled or incorporated in any manner whatsoever in the P501-billion Special Purpose Fund,” Romualdez said.
“We will also help ensure that there will be no hidden items or expenditures in the budget,” he added.
He also reiterated the bloc’s call for line item budgeting as he assured the public that the bloc will scrutinize the proposed national budget down to the last centavo in all the deliberations it will go through.