No member of the House of Representatives made so-called “pork” insertions in the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget for 2021, House Appropriations chairman and ACT-CIS partylist Rep. Eric Go Yap said.

GO YAP - Solon says no ‘pork’ insertions in P4.5-T nat’l budget for 2021
ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap (Photo via PNA / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Yap insisted that the amendments in the House-approved General Appropriations Bill (GAB) will emanate from the agencies and not from the lawmakers. 

“Puro agencies ito. Kaya lagi kong ineemphazsize kasi bugbog na bugbog kami sa Congress, laging nasasabi na parang nagpasok ng pork, naginsert no, wala po akong pinayagan na maginsert na mga congressman at walang rin pong gumawang congressman na ganun. Walang congressman na nagbigay ng mga listing nila na, heto gusto ilagay dito sa amin, wala po,” Yap told DZBB in an interview.

(These are all from agencies. I am always emphasizing this because we here in Congress have been lynch mobbed, we are being accused of inserting pork, but none, I have not allowed any congressmen to make insertions and no congressman did that. No congressman has given their listing, that allocation will be put here for us, there’s none)

He assured the public that the soft copy of the 2021 national budget that will be transmitted to the Senate on Oct. 28 will be the same copy that will be given to the National Printing Office (NPO) for printing. 

“Ang period of amendments, ang mga errata galing lahat sa agencies, walang galing sa congressman,” Yap said.

(During the period of amendments, all errata come from the agencies, nothing comes from the congressman)

Yap explained that the House’s decision to accept  amendments to the spending measure  from government agencies is “within the rules” of Congress after some senators questioned its process. 

“I respect Sen. (Panfilo) Lascon, but I respect the rules of the Congress, nasa rules po ‘yan na pag na-ceritfy as urgent pagkatapos ng plenary debate kailangan o na second and third dahil nga may certification, urgent eh then you have to form a small committee to accommodate and to check the amendments of the agencies,” he said. 

(I respect Sen. (Panfilo) Lascon, but I respect the rules of the Congress, it is within the rules that once certified as urgent after the plenary debate, the spending measure have to be put on second and third reading because there’s certification, it’s urgent then you have to form a small committee to accommodate and to check the amendments of the agencies)

He explained that because of presidential certification, the chamber did not follow the three-day rule and they proceeded passing the GAB on third and final reading even “without the book”  and that the amendments will follow after the final passage of the spending measure. 

“Kaya ang Presidente natin gumawa ng paraan para hindi mareenact. Wala akong nakikitang obstruction para hindi maipasa sa Senate ito  on time,”  Yap said. 

(It was the President who found a way that we will not have a reenacted budget. I do not see any obstruction that would prevent the Senate from passing it on time) 

The small committee will accept proposed amendments from the agencies until Monday.

Yap said the small committee “will just look for the errata of the executive agencies.”

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