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Chiz wants DBM to justify P43-b errata in 2015 Budget


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Senator Chiz Escudero is asking the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to justify its last-minute changes to the 2015 spending package that increased the proposed P2.06 trillion budget by as much as P43.64 billion.

In the spirit of transparency, Escudero, who chairs the Senate finance committee, said he will seek from the DBM and each government agency receiving additional funds the “specific details as to why and where and when corrections were made.”

“Of course we will get down to the specifics of the errata since this has not been discussed during the budget deliberation. We were not made aware of the corrections and we are interested to know from where to where are these funds moving,” Escudero said.

Escudero said that under the package of amendments of the DBM, which is about 1.65 percent of the proposed budget, the following will get additional funds: Contingent Fund (P8B), Department of Social Welfare and Development (P7,976,198B), Department of Transportation and Communications (P7,732,314B), Department of Health (P4,294,097B), International Commitment Fund (ICF) (P3,280,685B), Department of Finance (P1,602,866B), Commission on Audit (P1,138,660B), Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund  (P1,107,984B), and Pension and Gratuity Fund (P6,863,483B).

According to the senator, the Committee on Finance is now reviewing the errata and getting its details before the proposed National Expenditure Program goes to the Senate plenary next week.

“When we go to the plenary next week, other senators can take this up. We may not agree with the House version because our version may be different, but we will act accordingly towards the general direction of the Senate budget,” he said.

Escudero said the senate panel has already seen items in the errata which will not be accepted and adopted in the Senate version.

“The committee is open to any and all questions regarding the errata and any item in the budget proposal. There will be specific items that we will remove in the errata. By Monday next week, we would have finalized all proposed amendments from the sub and mother committees for committee report and once referred, by Tuesday we expect to deliver the sponsorship speech.”

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.