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Ladlaran na! Drilon wants budget insertions made in open session not committees to smoke out pork

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon will insist on having amendments to the proposed P3.7 trillion national budgetpresented in open plenary session to assuage fears of inserting pork barrel-like allocations next year.

“Every year, legislators are accused of hiding pork barrel elsewhere. We can easily disprove and bury that accusation by making the budget process more transparent,” he said.

Drilon said the national budget, considered the most important piece of legislation that Congress makes every year, should be discussed in an open and transparent manner.

“It’s about time that we provide some light into the budget process. We will discuss and scrutinize them item-for-item in the spirit of transparency,” he said.

In his proposal Drilon. the Senate will to do away with the previous practice where amendments were submitted though the committee.

Each senator who wants to submit an amendment would have to present it on the floor for the chamber’s consideration, he said.

Drilon said he planned to propose various amendments to the budget, including the realignment of about P1.4 billion in an anti-illegal drug campaign budget to support the housing program for personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

This will ease fears about legislators trying to hide “pork barrel” allocations in the budget.

Drilon expressed confidence that his colleagues would support his proposal.