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Walang bokya! Each congressman will receive P160M in 2019 budget – Andaya

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Appropriations Committee chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. (Camarines Sur) gave an assurance that each congressman will receive at least P160-million allocation under the proposed 2019 national budget.

Andaya’s statement came the Senate and House of Representatives on Friday evening ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee report for this year’s P3.757-trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA).

According to Andaya, each member of the Lower House will receive P160-million across the board allotment for their respective congressional districts or constituents and that no congressman will be left out regardless of political affiliation.

“No district should be left behind. So, walang zero dito. Walang maze-zero rito. Lahat ng distrito regardless of how the representative voted, may makukuha galing sa budget na ito yung kanilang distrito,” he said.

Andaya stressed that P160 million was the ‘baseline amount’ for every House member, admitting that there are congressional districts which were given bigger allocations depending on immediate needs.

“May mga lugar na ang distrito ay mas malaki, may distritong mas maliit, may lugar na mga nasalanta ng bagyo, so bibigyan mo ng atensyon yun. So naturally magkakaroon ng konting diperensiya. But the general rule is equitable, it’s not equal, equitable, depending on the need of the place,” he said.

The House official reiterated that these funds cannot be considered as pork barrel funds since these are line-item projects and didn’t undergo post-enactment intervention.

“What the Supreme Court said is there should be no post enactment involvement ng Congress. Everything that you want to have in the budget, where it should go, how much, should be indicated in the budget. So that when budget implementation phase comes in, and that is starting tomorrow, wala ng pakialam ang Kongres kasi nailahad mo na lahat ang dapat mong gawin (sa GAA),” said Andaya.

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