Press Release
September 27, 2012

Constitutional agencies pass Senate budget hearing,
except Comelec, says Drilon

All agencies that belong to Constitutional and Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG) successfully sailed through Senate Committee on Finance budget hearing, except for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) whose budget is still yet to be approved.

The said Senate panel approved recently the 2013 proposed expenditures of three CFAG agencies: the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) which has an allocation of P1.72 billion under the proposed P2.006-trillion national budget; the Commission on Audit, P8.1 billion; and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) with P932.59 million, said its chairman Senator Franklin M. Drilon.

"The Ombudsman budget is 26.94 percent higher than its 2012 outlay of P1.35 billion, and a bulk of which, P1.39 billion, is for personal services to hire more lawyers to speed up disposition of cases," said Drilon.

"There are currently 11,000 criminal and administrative cases pending before the Ombudsman requiring swift and determined action. Hence, to ensure speedy disposition of these cases now swamping the anti-graft agency, the Office has embarked on the recruitment of 100 qualified and competent lawyers to beef up its present staffing complement," Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales told Drilon during the hearing.

The COA budget, on the other hand, is 15.72 percent higher than its current allocation amounting P7.0 billion; whereas, the CSC budget is P160.9 million bigger from its 2012 budget of P771.68 million, explained Drilon.

The Comelec, meanwhile, failed to have its budget amounting P8.42 billion approved even after three hearings already conducted by the committee.

"I am hoping that in the fourth hearing of the Comelec budget, the inquiries and concerns of Senator Allan Peter Cayetano will finally be addressed by Chariman Sixto Brillantes Jr.," Drilon said.

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