Drones could change into fairly a helpful weapon in opposition to pork barrel funds, together with these retained within the P3.7-trillion price range for 2019.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson hinted at this as he mentioned “life goes on” after each homes of Congress ratified the P3.7-trillion 2019 price range that he mentioned is laden with pork.
“Life goes on! We misplaced the vote on ‘pork’ insertions within the 2019 price range and we respect the need of majority of our colleagues. I assume our drone will once more be very busy flying later this yr to supervise how these ‘tasks’ are carried out, if in any respect,” he mentioned in a submit on his Twitter account on Sunday.
Lacson additionally mentioned he’s eyeing extra headway in opposition to “pork” and different flaws within the warped budgeting course of that has allowed it to thrive.
He mentioned ensuring the budgeting course of is adopted correctly will stop “pork” by having district representatives in Congress participate in planning on the native degree, as an alternative of inserting tasks after Malacanang has already submitted its model of the price range – the Nationwide Expenditure Program – to Congress.
“It’s excessive time we get rid of the plain disconnect between the wants and priorities of the countryside native authorities models and the expenditure program on the nationwide degree, as a result of absence of consultations,” Lacson mentioned.
“Due to this disconnect, district representatives – as an alternative of attending and taking part within the formulation of native improvement plans inside their districts, the place they’re members of the Native Improvement Councils – choose to arbitrarily make insertions in the course of the authorization section, with out due regard to the wants and priorities of the LGUs inside their districts,” he added.
In 2018, Lacson and his workers had random drone flights in numerous components of the nation to test on “pork” infrastructure tasks within the 2018 price range.
This was after he questioned and moved for the elimination of some P50.eight billion in tasks – together with these with right-of-way points from the 2018 price range, however was prevailed upon to permit the restoration of the quantity when the Division of Public Works and Highways “assured” it might probably resolve them.
But, the drone flights of a few of these tasks confirmed a bodily accomplishment starting from zero to at least one %.
Additionally, Lacson questioned billions of pesos in “pork” tasks within the 2019 price range, together with no less than P160 million for every Home member.
The P160 million consists of P70 million for “laborious” tasks equivalent to roads and flood management tasks; and P30 million for “comfortable” tasks equivalent to textbooks and scholarships. One other P60 million was added by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, together with P50 million for “laborious” tasks and P10 million for “comfortable” tasks, whereas a few of the extra lucky Home members obtained far more.
Even some senators had been discovered to have particular person amendments amounting to P23 billion.
Whereas these quantities had been retained within the 2019 price range, Lacson famous some “progress” in opposition to pork had been made, together with the deletion of all appropriations for flood management, significantly dredging, desilting and the like; and realigned to capital outlay for the acquisition of dredging machines.
He additionally cited the Senate-introduced Division of Well being realignment, in addition to the adoption of most of his institutional amendments, equivalent to:
* the 240-day-a-year faculty feeding program for wasted and almost wasted schoolchildren
* extra allowance for lecturers
* some appropriations cowl for legal guidelines handed relating to our age outdated veterans
* augmentation price range requested by the judiciary
* activation of an infantry unit to battle terrorist teams in Mindanao.
However extra importantly, he mentioned the discourse on the difficulty has enlightened the general public on the outlawed pork barrel.
Lacson mentioned he intends to construct on these positive aspects, particularly in eliminating the disconnect between the wants and priorities of the native authorities models and the expenditure program on the nationwide degree.
“If we observe the budgeting course of in its correct type, native authorities models could have a say within the planning of tasks, and won’t be left behind,” he mentioned.
“Even higher, these tasks will create native jobs so residents needn’t depart for Metro Manila or different city facilities to search out work,” he added.