Anakpawis demands transparency, lambasts early termination of OP budget deliberations

Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis scoffed at the early termination of the Office of President’s budget deliberation by the House Committee on Appropriations this morning.

“Gustong ipa-audit pati ang Red Cross na wala naman sa gobyerno pero ayaw ipakita at ipabusisi ang badyet ng Opisina ng Presidente. Malaking kalokohan ito at malaki rin ang itinatago ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa pinagkakagastusan ng kanyang opisina. Kailangan malaman ng taumbayan kung bakit humihingi ng P8 bilyong badyet ang opisina ng Pangulo,” according to Anakpawis National President Ariel Casilao.

Legislators were not allowed to ask questions about the OP budget. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said he would entertain questions regarding the OP’s P8.23 billion budget during the plenary deliberations. Pangasinan Rep. Tyrone Agabas called for the early termination of the OP budget hearing. Committee on Appropriations chair Rep. Eric Yap and Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe of Zamboanga City conferred. Makabayan bloc representatives were only allowed to give their manifestations.

Why call the 2022 proposed national budget the People’s Budget when Malacanang and Executive Secretary Medialdea are not even open to the public scrutiny of the budget of the Office of the President. Ang badyet ng OP ay galing sa buwis ng taumbayan. The people have all the right to know and take a hard look at the OP’s budget and expenses. Ayaw na nga ipakita ang SALN, ayaw pang matanong tungkol sa badyet, Casilao said.

Under Duterte, the OP’s intelligence funds and confidential funds have drastically increased from P500 million in 2016 to P4.5 billion in 2020. For 2022, the OP is again asking for a P4.5 billion in intelligence and confidential fund which comprise more than half of the entire proposed OP budget of P8.2 billion. ###

Peasants under Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas demand production subsidy and aid to be included in the national budget.

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