MANILA (Mabuhay) — The minority bloc at the House of Representatives promised stricter scrutiny of the 2016 budget proposed by Malacanang, noting provisions could be used as the administration’s campaign kitty.
“If Malacañang thinks it can get away with a bloated budget proposal that is unabashedly designed to fill the ruling party’s campaign kitty to the brim, then it is wrong. We are prepared to scrutinize every centavo, every line item in the 2016 budget proposal,” Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said in a statement.
President Aquino approved the proposed P3.002 trillion national expenditure program during a Cabinet meeting on Monday. The proposed budget is a 15.2% increase from the 2015 budget.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the biggest chunk is for the Department of Education, with an allocation of P436.5 billion.
Next is the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with P401.14 billion; the Department of National Defense, P172 billion; the Department of Interior and Local Government, P156 billion; the Department of Health (DoH), P128.5 billion; and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, P107.6 billion.
This early, Ridon said he and his colleagues are already researching on how the government spent the 2015 budget.
“Aside from scrutinizing the proposed 2016 budget, we need to compel members of the DBCC and heads of departments to report extensively on how the 2015 budget is being spent, especially since the President and his men were able to pass provisions in the current budget that makes it vulnerable to corruption,” he said.
“As early as now, we should double our vigilance, for the ruling party will surely use all the funds in its discretion to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections,” he added. (MNS)