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Lacson wants civil society involved in fight vs. ‘pork’

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An enemy of pork barrel system, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson stressed Wednesday the importance of involving the civil society to combat greedy parties from inserting “pork” into the national budget.

Lacson’s Senate Bill 24 (People’s Participation in the National Budget Process Act of 2019) would institutionalize the collaboration of legislative and accredited groups to take part in the budgeting process to establish transparency and accountability.

“Now is the time for Congress to recognize the importance of the direct participation by people’s organizations and NGOs in the budget deliberation,” he said.

Senator Lacson highlighted the delayed passage earlier this year of the 2019 national budget was due to abuse and indiscretions by some legislators from both chambers of Congress.

“The vital role it plays in the operations of our government, and ultimately in the life of every Filipino, demands that there should be mechanisms in place that will enable citizens to participate in the budget process so as to correct spending priorities and to ensure transparency in the appropriation of valuable taxpayers’ money,” Lacson added.

It can be recalled on April 15, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the 2019 national budget but he vetoed the questionable items in the amount of P93.5 billion.

Both Lacson and the Senate leadership questioned this.

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