Press Release
December 4, 2006

Transcript of Sen. Franklin M. Drilon's
press conference on the national budget

SFMD: The Senate approved today in accordance with schedule, the President's budget. The Senate upon our motion, approved the President's budget as submitted except for the P200 million reduction pertaining to the pork barrel of Senator Lacson. We brought back the budget to the point where the President submitted it. In other words, the programmed appropriation of P574,112,418,000 was approved except for the P200 million of Senator Lacson. Senator Lim said he will not avail of the pork barrel. The reduction was in the unprogrammed portion. The unprogrammed portion of the budget is P67,008,479,000. this was reduced to P46,409,964,000 or a reduction in the unprogrammed by P20,598,545,000. This would consist principally of the reduction in the one-line budget of P30.5 billion for various social and infrastructure projects. We examined this. With the concurrence of the budget secretary, we deleted some portions or some items, which cannot be funded in any case to reduce the discretion of the Executive branch on this. We also deleted the authority to recognize as an obligation about P5.9 billion in the North Rail project. Because that is part of the unprogrammed portion of the budget. These are book entries to recognize the obligation created by the payment to the contractor in China of the amount. These are book entries, which are in other words, we have not authorized any recognition by the national government of the obligation to the extent of P5.9 billion to the China Machineries, Inc. Upon motion of Senator Enrile, the PCGG budget was reduced to P1 and the corresponding amount was transferred to the Bureau of Customs. Upon motion of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, the budget for the Supreme Court was placed at the level of the 2005 General Appropriations Act. These are the major changes approved by the Senate.

Q: Magkano ang ibinaba ng SC budget?

SFMD: The committee recommended the adoption of the budget for the Supreme Court and lower courts in the amount of P8,157,623,000. this was in the General Appropriations Bill, which the committee adopted in its report. Upon motion of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, this was reduced. The allocation for the SC and the lower courts was brought back to the 2005 level or P6,705,025,000. The difference is the reduction.

Q: On PCVFA budget

SFMD: The Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces Agreement also upon motion of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, was reduced to P100.

Q: On the PCGG budget

SFMD: For the PCGG originally, the House proposed P84,190,000. From this amount, the committee deleted the confidential and intelligence funds. Therefore the committee recommended P79,190,000. This was reduced to P1.

Q: Bakit sa Customs napunta?

SFMD: That is the motion of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

Q: On PCVFA budget

SFMD: The original budget of the PCVFA is P2,184,000. This was reduced to P100.

Q: Saan po napunta iyon?

SFMD: We will adjust because it was laid on the floor, we could not immediately determine. Hindi naman significant. Dalawang milyon lang. Since it was made on the floor, I could not make adjustments at the bottom line.

Q: Ano ang total amount na inapprove natin?

SFMD: The programmed that we approved is P573,912,418,000. The automatic appropriation consists of debt service, IRA, etc. We approved the P1.126 trillion, less P200 million, basically ganoon. We do not appropriate the unprogrammed. That is not included in the P1.126 trillion.

Q: Contentious issues in the bicam

SFMD: The contentious issue in the bicam will be the excess of P8.2 billion, which the House appropriated under the programmed portion of the budget by changing the assumptions in the debt service. That is the principal bone of contention that I can see immediately. It's difficult to predict the rest.

Q: When will bicam be held?

SFMD: We will try to schedule it within this week.

Q: Composition of bicam?

SFMD: We haven't decided yet.

Q: How much is the Senate version lower than the House?

SFMD: About P8.2 billion.


SFMD: Hindi naming ginalaw ang PDAF. We just brought it back to the President's budget. Dinagdagan iyon sa House. Basta we just maintained the President's budget. This is the first time that the budget was approved on December 4.

Q: For how long sir?

SFMD: For the last 11 years.

Q: You will pass the budget before the year ends?

SFMD: Yes. That is why I am giving our selves about two weeks in the bicam. (end)

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