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Nagsesebo pa rin kasi sa pork! Ping boycotts 2020 budget ratification

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By Nancy Carvajal

Senator Panfilo Lacson snubbed the ratification of the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 Wednesday (December 11) after exposing the multibillion-peso insertions made by members of the House of Representatives in the bill.

Lacson, a staunch critic of the pork barrel system, told reporters he was “not feeling well.”

However, hours before the Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the 2020 budget, the senator released a statement claiming there were billions of pesos in lump sum funds that House members inserted in the General Appropriations Bill.

“Our preliminary scrutiny of the last minute insertions made by the House would indicate that the Source File is the list of 1,253 budget items worth P83.219B that was apparently used as the congressmen’s ‘source’ of their ‘list’ of 742 projects worth P16.345B that were inserted in the bicam report that was signed by both panels this morning,” he said.

“Since there is no preliminary explanation from the House regarding the 2 Files, we cannot ascertain if indeed only P16.345B or the bigger amount of P83.219B was inserted at the last minute prior to the bicam signing… What is clear though is that there are still lump sums and vaguely described projects that are now part of the bicam report,” Lacson added.

Based on scrutiny of files received by his office, the senator said Albay received the biggest amount of lump sum funds at P670 million, followed by Cavite with P580 million, Sorsogon with P570 million, Batangas with P502 million, Bulacan with P440 million, Pangasinan with P420 million and Cebu with P410 million.

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