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Sagot ko ‘yan! Loren assures no agency will be left with P1K budget in 2018

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No government agency will be unfunded in the next year’s proposed P3.767 trillion national budget, Sen. Loren Legarda assured on Sunday.

“Who can operate with P1,000 (budget)? I think that was a political statement in the lower house,” said Legarda referring to the budgets of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) that were slashed by the House of Representatives to a mere P1,000.

“As far as we (Senate) are concerned, we already approved their budget,” Legarda, chair of the Senate finance committee, said in a radio interview.

Legarda dismissed fears of possible “deadlock” of the budget bill in the bicameral conference committee level, given the firm stance of the lower house on the appropriation of the said agencies and the Senate as well.

Although the said agencies respective budgets have been approved only at the committee level, a number of senators appeared inclined in supporting its endorsement in the plenary.

“I assure you that the agencies will have their budget. I will read again their budget, what are their activities, programs and sweldo ng mga tao rin. I assure you, there will be no agency na walang budget,” she said.

What the senator cannot commit, she said, was how much these agencies would get in the the national budget.

“Maaring taasan, maaring babaan, maaring internally nag-iiba. I can’t assure you that it will be (retained) up to the last centavo. But I can assure you, they will have budget,” she said.