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Alan claims P1.6B is for research not pork: Para umayos ang debate!

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday said the additional P1.6 billion for the 2020 budget of the House of Representatives will be used to enhance legislative research, improve the chamber’s facilities, and establish new committees.

Cayetano made the clarification following reports that the House is augmenting its proposed P14-billion 2020 budget for additional deputy speakers.

“For the past two days, may mga nangungulit about, actually fake news ‘yung nasa isang blogger na sinabi niyang we added P1.6 billion for the 22 deputy speakers,” Cayetano said during an event by the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc.

“We used to have 14 deputy speakers, we now have 22, if we’re going to add P1.6-billion for additional 8 deputy speakers, that’s P200 million for deputy speaker… Asaan ‘yung P200 million para sa distrito, para sa mga tao kung maniniwala ka doon? ,” he added.

The Speaker said the additional funding would be allotted to boost the chamber’s Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department.

The said body provides ideas, policy advice, technical assistance, and information support in the formulation and oversight of socio-economic legislation that promotes sustained inclusive growth.

“The P1.6-billion, first, is to enhance research, hindi puwedeng nakikipagdebate tayo dito na ‘yung executive o ‘yung mga industriya kumpleto sa research tapos tayo hindi,” Cayetano said.

“So we are going to strengthen the congressional planning and budget office, and put up some fellowships para ‘yung ibang professors can also help us,” he added.

Cayetano said he also wanted to enhance the House facilities by adding more elements of the country’s culture and history to encourage more visitors and make it “pro-people”.

“That’s another thing that the funds are for, to improve the facilities so that the House of Representatives is the House of the People, we want field trips to come here rather than the noontime shows na lang (only). They learn something from noontime show, but they can learn much more here if we make this facility pro-people,” he said.

Cayetano said the last area for funding is for the creation of new committees.

“Let me just assure you, that you will see a different kind of House of Representatives, one that is very accountable, one na walang takipan sa mga problema, at corruption. But also one that will provide resources to each and every congressman, and committee needed to be able to do your job,” he said. (PNA)

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