Angara— All 24 sets of eyes in the Senate to scrutinize the 2020 national budget

Posted on: Thu, 08/08/2019 - 13:45 By: admin
Senators of the 18th Congress

I think the scrutiny will be tough and thorough. In my seven years in the Senate what I have observed is that oftentimes, the hardest questions come from members of the majority. So the review actually is not just the minority’s job but of every member regardless of political affiliation.

Bawat isa sa amin may individual check list on how to evaluate an agency budget or spending item. Yung iba ang puntirya yung absorptive capacity dahil lagi na lang may underspending. Yung iba ang tanong kung aligned ba ito sa development plan, meaning to help the people and not in aid of reelection. Yung iba naman ang specialty is to sniff out items, which are in violation of the Supreme Court’s PDAF ruling.  

May iba gender ang peg. Meron naman who will view it from the prism of revenues. Some will bat for more arms for the police, while others, more aid to farms. 

It is this interplay of skills, which make the Senate’s review of the budget very detailed.  Parang may division of labor, which results in redundancy in the vetting process. 

Para sa akin, I apply the four-way test-- Is it compliant with the laws of the land and jurisprudence on appropriations like the SC ruling on PDAF?

Is it fiscally-responsible that it will be supported by revenues and when implemented, will not lead to wastage of taxpayers’ money through corruption or inefficiency leakage?

Is it aligned with national and local development goals and based on plans, studies and consultation? Is it what the people really want in the sense that it will improve their welfare, brighten their future, and transform their communities for the better?