The Supreme Court may have outlawed the pork barrel system seven years ago, but it is being routinely circumvented, Sen. Panfilo Lacson lamented Sunday.
Lacson, a staunch foe of the pork barrel system, said some lawmakers secure appropriations for their pet projects while the budget is still being prepared by the executive branch.
“Hindi pork ang tawag kasi walang post-enactment identification. Identified na. Kaya ang nangyayari, iniikutan nila ang SC ruling. Dahil wala na ang post-enactment identification, sa NEP (National Expenditure Program) pa lamang o sa GAB (General Appropriations Bill) ina-identify ang proyekto, so walang pork in the strictest sense of the word. Pero sa implementation di nawawala ang commission,” he said in an interview on DZBB radio.
The NEP is the version of the national budget prepared by the Executive Department. The GAB is the version of the budget bill passed by the House of Representatives.
Also, Lacson said he is aware of this as some contractors continue to complain about some lawmakers who ask for a cut in the projects.
“Ang description nila pag ang isang mambabatas, kung 10% hiningi, mabait. Ang salbahe sa kanila ang humingi ng 20% nandugas pa, hihingi ng advance tapos hindi pa sumunod sa usapan. Yan ang tinatawag na balasubas,” he said.
Lacson also maintained House members had a hand in crafting the list of appropriations for infrastructure projects.
He had bared early last Thursday a list of districts that got more than P1 billion in appropriations for infrastructure projects for 2021, with one district getting more than P15 billion.
“Ang source ng aking information sa latag ng distribution, sa HOR mismo, ang myembro nila ang nagbigay sa akin ng listahan. Sa listahan nakalagay pangalan ng kongresista, kung anong distrito,” he said.