Villafuerte ‘feels vindicated’ after Lacson’s pork-free assessment of 2020 budget


Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte on Monday said he felt vindicated after Sen. Ping Lacson assessed that the 2020 budget bill transmitted by the House of Representatives to the Senate appeared to be free of pork.

“Remember that after the House approved the 2020 GAB (General Appropriations Bill) on third and final reading last month, I assured the public that the measure was entirely pork-free and was attuned to the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted by Malacañang to the Congress,” Villafuerte said.

The Camarines Sur lawmaker said that true to the Speaker’s word, the only amendments made by the House to the proposed budget involved P9.5 billion in funds that were realigned to various government agencies to ensure that the government remains on top of the situation in responding to the urgent needs of various sectors.

Villafuerte said the leadership of the House had “thanked” Lacson for his “objective assessment” of the 2020 GAB, which was passed last month by the chamber under the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

He said Lacson’s assessment was a “tribute to the transformative leadership of Speaker (Alan Peter) Cayetano” who made sure that the proposed budget bill was passed in a highly transparent manner and bereft of pork, illegal insertions and “parking” of funds.

“Under the guidance of Speaker Cayetano, the final version of the 2020 GAB approved by the House is in sync with the inclusive growth agenda of President Duterte,” he said.

“The institutional amendments were all done to ensure funding support to the sectors that need them the most,” said Villafuerte.

Aside from declaring the House-approved budget bill as “pork-free,” Lacson also said he only found P9.5 billion in institutional amendments made by the chamber, as earlier announced by Cayetano.

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