The nation was shocked one morning when they heard that ALLOCATIONS amounting to billions of pesos were inserted in the proposed 2019 budget for the various obviously favoured districts of certain congressmen and senators included.
We are not interested in the persons because they can as they already did quickly claim that they did not know who inserted those billions of pesos for their districts. We still don’t know if our congressmen from Negros Oriental were among those favoured. Although if so, our province can be benefited with huge public works projects.
But the issue is not the projects and amounts, it is the degree of possible corruption that might again ensue in terms of kickbacks, meaning not all the funds will go to those projects intended.
That most legislators who got billions in fund insertions deny knowledge as to who made the insertions speaks of congressional integrity. This is of course intended to be told to the marines so to speak. Because nobody will ever believe that.
What are congressional insertions?
These are huge amounts innocently inserted into the budgets next year of national agencies which in turn will allocate a supposed target project for certain congressional districts.
In short, the “fravored or lucky” congressmen would pretend not to know who inserted those billions into his/her district. But who would believe that? Of course the marines will believe that.
Majority Floor leader Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr; and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno clash in Congress on the controversial P55-billion fund insertions.
This is now the consequence of the abolished PDAF or the Priority Development Assistance Fund which the Supreme Court abolished. Under the PDAF, all congressmen and senators were given P17-million a year for them to choose their own district projects. Of course this was the breeding ground of corruption because not all of the money went to the projects,, some if at all. So PDAF was abolished. But now this congressional insertions/. Same animal with a different color and brand.
Under the new ballgame, the national agencies get the budget. But the same agency can target specific projects for specific districts anywhere in the country. Would you believe that those congressmen who were given billions of pesos in insertions did not know anything about the plan? A stupid answer would be Yes.
Just an example, a flood control project for a certain province was only P73Billion. But when the draft budget for 2019 came out, the same budget ballooned surprisingly to P123Billion! What a twist of fate! You mean the floods grew bigger next year, thus the (flood) control would now be bigger.
Obviously the project can be finished with P73Billion, but it was given an insertion that made its budget balloon to P123Billion! So nobody is making money? How poor.
Good for the congressional fiscalizers who exposed the surprise insertions. Congress which is not supposed to touch the budget had some legislators expose the anomalies who said that certain congressional seats are out to make money on the sidelines…
Again, there is now that alternative to re-review the budget for the country by congress and meet halfway of the total overprice.
Even Malacanang who is fighting corruption to the bones defied its non-intervention over congressioinal works telling Congress “to do what you have to do.”.
What makes well meaning people sad is that here we are, last year abolishing the PDAF since it was the source of corruption ONLY TO BE CHANGED with a the same but worse animal but with a new brand name.
On top of each congressman getting P16 Million in infra fund , will they will still get their extra “allowances” from the grossly manipulated budget for 2019?