Press Release
September 30, 2011

Transcript of press conference of
Sen Drilon after 2nd DSWD budget hearing

Drilon: After 2 hearings of the DSWD budget, we are finally able to gather data that can justify the budget of the DSWD which is P49.2 billion, out of which P39.4 billion is in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Principal area of inquiry today was the implementation cost. The analysis of the current budget would indicate that we can save about P1 billion out of the allotted P4 billion implementation cost. The secretary has agreed that this will be realigned for more benefits to the beneficiaries of CCT. We have agreed on this. For 2012, P4.8 billion was allocated for implementation cost of the CCT. In other words, the CCT would involve a cash distribution of P34.6 billion. It will cost DSWD P4.8 billion to distribute P34.6 billion or approximately 12% of the P39.4 billion. What we have agreed with the DSWD is that we will review this implementation cost and have a limit in terms of percentage so that we can put more benefits into the program. That same principle will apply for Pamana project which would have a separate implementation cost. In the case, for example, of DSWD, the Pamana project woul entitle them to an allocation of P586 million, out of which P87 million has been assigned as cost of implementation. This is not acceptable to the committee because obviously this administrative cost should be trimmed down as this is an overhead expense. We will not allow that administrative cost of P87 million in the Pamana projects and similarly such cost of implementation appearing on the budget of DILG and OPAPP. At bottom, we will monitor closely the administrative overhead cost of CCT and Pamana project so that there will be no excess fat in as far as implementation is concerned, but rather place this money into more benefits of the beneficiaries.

Soliman: The DSWD commits to submit a detailed budget on the implementation cost realigned for 2011, as agreed upon in this hearing. We will be providing the chair and the committee also a detailed expenditure under the implementation cost for 2012. On the Pamana budget, we will be reviewing the P87 million administrative cost as indicated because as I was explaining to the chair, my understanding was that we were implementing Pamana and the administrative cost is already absorbed by the existing program. We need to review this so that the budget will not be duplicated.

Q: Ilang percent ang tinaas ng DSWD budget compared this year?

Soliman: It is about 44%. The increase is about P15 billion.

Drilon: Just to be more accurate, the proposed budget for 2012 under the NEP is P49.2 billion versus current year budget of P34.1 billion. That is accounted for by the increase in the budget of the CCT.

Q: Ano ang specific projects under Pamana?

Soliman: Under Pamana, there are 2 pillars: one is the modified core shelter program and the other is on livelihood. These 2 pillars will be implemented in the conflict-affected areas as identified by OPAPP. Under the 2012 budget, it will cover 1,145 conflict-affected barangays nationwide. It's not just in Mindanao. There are also some areas identified in the Cordillera, Bicol region and Quezon.

Q: Saan manggagaling yung P1 billion na ire-realign? This year's budget or next year?

Soliman: The agreement that we made with the committee is that will come from the 2011 implementation cost because based on our utilization as of now, the chair had seen that we would have an excess of P1 billion based on the items that we were reporting as expenditures. We are going to work on our numbers and provide the chair of the committee by Tuesday the plan on how we are going to spend P1 billion.

Drilon: The report of the DSWD is that by the end of December this year, the DSWD would have distributed in cash under the CCT, P18.5 billion versus budget of P17.1 billion for 2011. Where did the rest of the funds come from? They have savings in their present budget and 2010 budget of about P1.4 billion from the Malusog na Simula program which was started and terminated in 2010. This balance in the Malusog na Simula program of P1.4 billion was used to cover the deficit for this year's program and the deficit in the budget arose principally because of the earlier enrolment of beneficiaries.

Q: Yung sa Calumpit ngayon dumaranas sila ng matinding baha...

Soliman: Kausap ko ang mayor ng Calumpit kahapon at may text siya sa amin kanina, meron na po kaming pinadalang additional relief packs sa kanila sa pamamagitan ng pakikipag ugnayan sa PNP at sa AFP kasi may mga lugar na hindi na maaabot ng truck at ginagamit na natin ngayon ay mga Bangka. Hindi lang sa Calumpit, ganun din sa Hagonoy, sa Nueva Ecija at kaninang umaga nag helicopter transport din kami sa Aurora ng 2,000 packs. All of this is under the coordination of NDRRMC. Kanina, sabi sa akin ni Usec. Benny Ramos 2 hours ago, tuloy-tuloy na ang rescue nila sa Calumpit at Hagonoy sapagkat hindi nila inasahan na tataas kaagad ang tubig. So nag coordinate na sila, combined forces with Coast Guard, Navy, PNP at other volunteer groups in the area. Inaasahan na by the end of this day, medyo bumaba na sana ang tubig pero kami nag augment na kami, nagpadala kami kaninang umaga ng 8,000 food packs, in addition to existing food packs prepositioned in these provinces. Right now, we are repacking in our national warehouse to be able to get, by tomorrow, 50,000 food packs. We're actually having volunteers, mga members ng Pantawid Pamilya nagre repack sa Pasay. We are prepositioning goods in Region 2 since alam naming dadaan ang 'Quiel' starting tomorrow so we are in touch with our colleagues in Region 2 who are also repacking kasi yung Region 2, dun sila bumibili ng mga goods na pinamimigay, hindi na yun nanggagaling dito. Yung Region 3 nanggagaling dito kasi baha nga sila, konting konti ang lugar na tuyo ngayon, particularly in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.

Q: Sen Recto suggested unspent funds for capital outlay could be used to help 'Pedring' victims. Is that workable sir?

Drilon: I am not prepared to comment on that.

Q: On Chacha, kailan mag uumpisa?

Drilon: Hindi pa nag uumpisa. There is no timetable. We will be working on the mechanics and process which we will submit to the next summit for consensus.

Q: When will the next summit happen?

Drilon: After the break.

Q: Are you expecting before the year ends?

Drilon: After the break, we will meet in the summit.

Q: Christmas break sir?

Drilon: No, we will have a second summit after the October break.

Q: Dun sa next summit, i-identify na yung provisions?

Drilon: Not yet. We will just discuss the procedure that we will follow.

Q: This early, may concern and ibang legislators considering na ngayon sa peace talks, pinag uusapan ang substate, baka daw pati political provisions...

Drilon: Our consensus is that we will only look at the economic provisions and the leadership will reject any amendment not involving economic provisions.

Q: When you say leadership, Senate or both houses?

Drilon: Both houses because that was agreed upon in the summit yesterday.

Q: What specific safeguards would be necessary to protect other provisions in the Constitution?

Drilon: The fact that it is bicameral it provides check and balance and we are committed that it will only refer to economic provisions. All kinds of amendments will be proposed but the leadership will vote down any amendment outside of the economic provisions.

Q: Will it interfere with the budget?

Drilon: No because I don't think we can start anything this year. We'll have to agree first on exactly the process that we will follow. Conceptually, in principle, we have agreed that we will use the legislative lawmaking process. After it goes through the legislative mill with the qualified majority of � voting, this will be submitted to the Filipino people for ratification. So we have to work out the mechanics of this procedure before we even go to the substance.

Q: Do you need to file a resolution on this?

Drilon: Yes, resolution of both houses.

Q: Some of your colleagues have a question about the timing. Bakit bigla daw pumasok ang Chacha sa summit kahapon.

Drilon: The Senate President has always taken the position that there is need to take a look at the economic provisions because in his view, there are certain restrictive provisions in the Constitution that could be reexamined in order to improve our investment climate. I was asked by the Senate President to find out how we can best do this.

Q: Hindi daw nakonsulta ang inyong mga colleagues about it

Drilon: We are making the proposal, certainly this will be debated upon when we submit the resolutions on the floor.

Q: Malacanang appears to be lukewarm sa idea

Drilon: Well yes, but we appreciate that this is not their priority. We intend to present this to the President to justify the need. To me, more than any other time, this is the best time to propose amendments to the Constitution. The trust rating of the President is very high. He can exercise his political leadership. Number 2, we have a President who we all know is not interested in amending the Constitution for his personal benefit. I am certain that any amendment that would change the form of government or will indicate any extension of his term, he will reject. Therefore, this is the best time to take a look at the economic provisions. When else do we do this? This would be transparent. If it is unacceptable, then we will not go through with it. I do not want a situation where we do not act because we fear that it will not succeed.

Q: Yung bicam constituent assembly less expensive yon?

Drilon: Certainly because we will just use the existing mechanisms, except the ratification, of course.

Q: medyo magastos ang ratification ng taumbayan?

Drilon: Just like any national ratification process, there is some expense involved but I don't think it is substantial as calling for a constitutional convention. We should not look at it as 'because there is cost, we should no longer move along this line.'

Q: What's the difference between a convention and bicam?

Drilon: In a convention, you call for the election of delegates and the delegates would be the ones to propose the amendments.

Q: When you open up the Constitution, pwede po ba burahin ang ARMM?

Drilon: No because that is not an economic provision. Our agreement is that we only look at the economic provisions.

Q: Are you confident na sa Aquino administration mangyayari ang amendments?

Drilon: It's too early to say. We will work on it. Let's see what happens along the road.

Q: You're saying na unlike the previous presidents who also supported Chacha, the current president is the first na wala talagang interest....

Drilon: Walang interest na gamitin ang pag amyenda ng Saligang Batas para sa kanyang pansarili. I think that's the high moral road that he has taken and which the people trust him follow.

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