Press Release
November 12, 2013


QUESTION: Sir ilan po yung for deletion? Kumpleto na sir?

FGE: Ang natanggap naming submission total so far is 20. Twenty submissions, of the 20 14 ang nag propose na i-abolish, delete, at deduct sa budget namely SP Drilon, myself, Senators Pimentel, Legarda, Aquino, Osmeña, Poe, Binay, Villar, Sotto, Marcos, Angara, Guingona and Honasan.

QUESTION: Sina Sotto at Legarda ang sabi lang nila hindi nila gagastusin.

FGE: They clarified it with us. We clarified it with them.

QUESTION: Sir dun sa 20, sino po yung hindi nakapag submit?

FGE: Yun muna yung 14. Nag submit ng letters to amend the budget or i-realign sina Senators Ejercito, Trillanes, Cayetano Alan, and Cayetano Pia. We are clarifying still from the office of Sen. Santiago yung letter nya about it because we want it clear kung ano talaga yung position nya tungkol dun. We also received one more letter from Senator Lapid. I believe he's out of the country so the staff submitted lang na as is. Meaning to say yung 200 nya will remain where it is, 50 million for the four agencies namely DOH, DOLE, CHED and DSWD. We have yet to receive the letters but we already communicated with our office from Senators Estrada,, Revilla, Enrile, and Recto. I understand that in so far as Senators Enrile, Recto, and Revilla are concerned, they will be submitting today. Wala pa kaming confirmation from Senator Estrada, he's abroad din kasi.

QUESTION: Kasama na po sa committee report yan?

FGE: Isasama na po namin sa committee report. We will still try to await their submissions para mahabol namin sa committee report in so far as the four is concerned and the one we're trying to clarify.

QUESTION: Sir yung 14 majority na po yun diba?

FGE: Yes. I will bring this matter up before the plenary and before the caucus. Since 14 senators favor its complete abolition, deduction from the budget, for the resolutions pending before the committee on rules be acted upon accordingly and for this to apply to the Senate as a body.

QUESTION: Sir lima lang yung binanggit nyo? Kala ko anim for realignment or amendment?

FGE: Lima lang yun binanggit ko.

QUESTION: Ika-20 yung si Lapid?

FGE: Ejercito, Trillanes, Cayetano, Cayetano, in so far as Sen. Santiago is concerned we're still clarifying her letter.

QUESTION: Sir san po ire-realign yung kay Ejercito at Trillanes?

FGE: Kay Sen. Trillanes various agencies namely hospitals, regional and local, projects in housing, I believe if my recollection serves me correct para sa AFP and PNP. We will refurnish you with copies of the letters. In so far as kay Senators Alan and Pia are concerned, i-realign sa calamity fund. In fact they proposed that the entire 4.8 billion PDAF of senators be realigned to the calamity fund.

QUESTION: Sir how will you deal with that kung gusto nila...

FGE: Ang naging agreement in the caucus is how each one will determine the allocation of the 200. Now, it will be a decision of the body to transfer it all to the calamity fund or deduct it. But as of now the letters we have say that majority of senators favor the deduction and deletion from the budget.

QUESTION: Pero hindi ganun ang decision na gagawin based on majority?

FGE: Well, yun ang ite-take up ko because the assumption as I said during the caucus was hindi majority ang gustong magpa-deduct nun.

QUESTION: Pero iko-consider sir yung proposals like yung Sen. Cayetano and Sen. Santiago covering hindi lang yung budget nila pati yung...

FGE: It will be voted upon on the floor. We will present a version and then if someone disagrees, they can propose an amendment and it will be voted upon on the floor.

QUESTION: Sir to submit daw today sina Senators Enrile, Jinggoy, Revilla and Recto pero may initial info kana kung ano yung stand nila?

FGE: I talked to Sen. Enrile kanina, until I see the letter syempre, but he is inclined similar to his pronouncements before to deduct and delete it from the budget. So if he submits that letter that will be 15.

QUESTION: Sir kung majority pero kung gusto talaga ma-realign sa calamity pwede pa rin?

FGE: Ite-take up namin yun sa budget. I will present it as it is first. Meaning, in accordance with the agreement in the caucus. But after the caucus I will always inquire and ask both in the caucus and in the plenary given that 14 or 15 senators favor its deletion for the resolutions for the abolition of PDAF in so far as senators are concerned to be acted upon and we will implement that in the proposed budget.

QUESTION: Sir, Si SP Drilon is urging DBM to revise or recast yung proposed 2014 budget kasi hindi daw na consider yung kinakailangan for rehabilitation?

FGE: Well that's what we've been doing for the past two days since after the aftermath. We'll be meeting with the various agencies kung ano yung mga items na pwede muna ipagpaliban so that we can carve out an amount for the rehabilitation of the damaged provinces brought about by the earthquake, by Yolanda, and to be part of the calamity fund, yung mga nauna pang damages sa Zamboanga City, gayundin yung Santi.

QUESTION: Kailan po yung meeting nyo with various agencies?

FGE: We have been doing it since yesterday and today.

QUESTION: Sino po yung mga nakausap nyo? Anong mga agencies?

FGE: Within the day hopefully makakausap na namin yung DPWH, DOH, DSWD, at DENR to find out exactly what their cost estimates of the damage is. What portions of their budget for 2014 can be revised to suit the current situation. At naghahanap na rin kami ng paghuhugutan pa sa budget para ma augment yung calamity fund ng Presidente at yung mga quick response fund ng mga various agencies, in addition to setting up a fund for Visayas rehabilitation talaga.

QUESTION: Before ng resumption ng session by Monday may clear figures na sir kung magkano?

FGE: Estimates yun. Ang maganda naman kasi sa budget for as long as there's estimates and there is an amount in the budget kung kulang man yun it can be augmented.

QUESTION: Initial estimates sir.

FGE: Wala ako. Pinapa submit ko pa lang sila by Thursday at the latest.

QUESTION: Sir kailangan ba i-line item din yung sa budget?

FGE: As much as possible ila-line item namin yun. Pero for example repair and rehabilitation of school buildings, hindi na siguro namin mala-line item yun in time for Monday. But we have proposed in the budget for 2014 na kung lump sum amount sya they have to follow the Section 35 of the Administrative Code which means they have to submit a special budget proposal na dun nakalista, line item yung pag-a-allocatan ng lump sum na huhugutin nila.

QUESTION: Sir yung rehabilitation fund para yun sa mga previous calamities hindi para sa future calamities?

FGE: We are looking for Visayas muna, kasi yung sa Santi at sa Zamboanga the existing calamity fund of the President and the augmentation thereto as well as the QRF of the various agencies might be enough for it already.

QUESTION: In response lang sir for the calamities, wala pang fund for future calamities?

FGE: The 7.5 billion calamity fund of the President which we also intend to augment and add an increase in the proposed budget of 2014.

QUESTION: Sir anong plano? May separate na pondo for rehabilitation? Kasi according to DPWH Secretary Singson, ayaw na nilang galawin yung kanilang proposed budget for 2014 hihingi na lang daw sila ng parang...

FGE: No, we're curving out from the budget. Gaya nga ng sabi ni SP Drilon, yung budget hindi pa na-take into account to, so hinihimay namin ulit yung budget. Kung ano yung mga items na hindi naman masyado importante na pwede pang ipagpaliban, taking into account for example the absorptive capacity of the agencies in the past two or three years, kung ano yung pwede naming mabawas dun at malagay para sa pondong ito.

QUESTION: So sir sila yung babawasan? DPWH, DSWD?

FGE: Naghahanap pa lang kami.

QUESTION: Hindi makaka-delay sa approval ng budget?

FGE: Hopefully we will be able to meet the target by the time we make the proposal in the committee report on Monday.

QUESTION: Sir ano yung mga items na pwedeng ipagpaliban?

FGE: Isa-isa palang namin hinihingi at kinukuha sa kanila. Again, the guidelines that we're trying to follow are: Una, kumusta ba yung absorptive capacity ng agency, kaya ba talaga nilang i-implement yung ganyang kalalaking amount?; Pangalawa, tinitingnan din namin yung importansya ng programa at kung pwedeng ipagpaliban, kung hindi naman talaga urgent. For example, for this year there's a 3 billion fund to rehabilitate Edsa, dun nanggaling actually karamihan ng ginamit ng DPWH para sa typhoon Pablo damage. Kasi hindi naman tinuloy yung sa Edsa dahil grabe ang traffic, grabe ang sakit ng ulo, so nag-a-identify kami ng ganung klaseng proyekto sa iba't ibang ahensya.

QUESTION: All agencies sir pwedeng mabawasan?

FGE: We're looking at all of the agencies and some of the lump sum funds as well. Kabilang na yung MPBF, yung miscellaneous personnel benefits fund.

QUESTION: Sir dun sa mga nakausap nyo nang agencies, may mga na-identify na sila?

FGE: Meron.

QUESTION: Anong agencies po? DPWH?

FGE: So far DPWH palang yung natatapos namin. Mahaba yung naging usapan kasi most of the cost estimates sa DPWH, because we have to remember under the current policy of the administration, basta infra DPWH. So even if it's a farm to market road, DPWH. Even if it's school building, DPWH. Roads and bridges and flood control, DPWH, and hospital buildings, DPWH pa rin. Kaya medyo mahaba at humaba ang usapan namin kasi we wanted to get their cost estimates taking into consideration the inputs of the agencies.

QUESTION: Sir by Thursday kaya nyo na i-meet yung pag submit ng budget?

FGE: Finish or not finish, pass your paper yun.

QUESTION: Pero sir wala pa kayong nakikitang figure kung magkano yung for rehab?

FGE: At a minimum we're looking at at least 10 billion na mahahanap mula sa budget. That's in addition to whatever savings that gov't will be using from the budget of 2013 for this purpose.

QUESTION: Diba sir meron pang 16 billion na savings?

FGE: Yun na yung ginagamit nila ngayon sa pag augment ng calamity fund at QRF dun sa infrastructure projects na nasira. So we're trying to look at the ending balance for that.

QUESTION: Kailangan bang mag submit ng revised budget ang DBM na may kasama na syang additional calamity or bahala na pagdating sa debate?

FGE: Hindi. We will try to itemize what we can itemize. May maiiwan pa ring lump sum palagi but we will provide in the proposed budget na ang availment ng anumang lump sum is conditioned upon the submission of a special budget, not that Congress has to approve it but they have to submit the itemized utilization of the lump sum amount and they have to report it to Congress, both the committee on appropriation in the House and finance in the Senate and to post the same in the website. Absence of that, they cannot avail and utilize the lump sum amounts.

QUESTION: Sir paano kung dumami ang clamor mula sa kasamahan nyo na wala muna yung total abolition at realignment yung 2014?

FGE: It's hypothetical as of now because yung hawak kong mga sulat, 14 senators already favored deletion. So that has no basis as of now.

QUESTION: Sir according to Sen. Trillanes deletion and abolition wala raw pong maitutulong ito sa taong bayan kung hindi pampapogi lang ito.

FGE: Desisyon nya yun. Ginagalang ko ang desisyon nya, galangin nya rin yung desisyon ng 14 na gustong magpa-abolish nun. Para sa akin hiwalay na issue ang pag delete ng pork barrel or pdaf dun sa kailangan natin tugunan ang pangangailangan at damage dun sa devastated areas. Pangalawa, para sa akin din, nagamit na kasing dahilan ang Pablo at Sendong noon para magparelease ng pondo sa nadiskubre nating mala Napoles na release. Siguro may fiscal space naman tayong sapat na matugunan yung kailangan para ma-rehabilitate yung mga areas na na-damage. At maliit na bagay lamang itong pdaf na dine-delete ng mga senador but will go a long way in so far as cleansing our institutions is concerned. Para sa akin hindi mo kayang lagyan ng monetary value yung paglilinis na ginagawa or pwede nating magawa kung mawawala yan at least sa parte ng Senado.

QUESTION: Sir, definitely wala pong reenacted budget. Mahi-hit po ninyo yung target na maipasa ang budget?

FGE: Sisikapin namin palaging gawin yun. Hopefully we'll be able to finish it before the first week of December para may enough time pa kami sa bicam at para may panahon din ang pangulong i-review ang budget kung pipirmahan nya at kung alin ang ive-veto nya.

QUESTION: Sir kung ire-revise ninyo ang 2014 budget walang implication dahil may na approve na budget sa House?

FGE: Pag-uusapan namin sa bicameral conference committee. Pero sa tingin ko hindi naman magiging madugo yung bicameral conference committee dahil nakita naman natin lahat yung damage na tinamo at tinamaan yung mga lugar ng Yolanda at ng earthquake.

QUESTION: Kinonsult niyo na po ang House?

FGE: Not yet, but even ang House diba nag pass sila ng resolution na nagsabi si speaker na yung pdaf nga nila for second semester ay ilagay na diyan in recognition of the need and in recognition of the devastating damage that they saw, brought by Yolanda and earthquake.

QUESTION: Hindi po ba kayo magpapatak-patak uli kagaya ng ginawa niyo sa lindol sa Bohol na I heard 200 thousand each senator tapos kumuha ng pondo sa senado kaya umabot ng 6 million ang donation as a whole.

FGE: Most likely hindi pa nga lang kasi nagkakapulong-pulong dahil recess ang unang caucus namin ay sa November 18. Most likely gagawin namin ulit iyon ng kada opisina ng senador.

QUESTION: Two hundred thousand uli? FGE: Ayaw kong pangunahan pero most likely.

QUESTION: Sir instead of declaring martial law nagdeklara ng national state of calamity si Presidente kahapon would you like to comment ano po yung advantage ng pagdeklara ng national state of calamity.

FGE: Pag sinabi mo kasi ng national emergency may kinalaman talaga iyon sa peace and order at maaring maka apekto sa imahe ng ating bansa na may kinalaman sa national security and peace and order. That's shooting from the hip. Pag dineclare mo ng national calamity bibigyang daan nito ang ilang provision na nakalagay sa procurement law natin. Hindi sa mas magaan meron pa rin requirement na dapat sundin pero mas mapapabilis ang pag procure ng kung anuman ang kinakailangan para matugunan yung immediate needs ng ating mga kababayan doon sa mga apektadong lugar.

QUESTION: Sir maraming nagbibigay ng tulong galing sa ibang bansa. Paano mamomonitor kung nagagamit talaga?

FGE: Sumulat na kami sa DBM at COA para tanungin yun proseso kaugnay nito dahil hindi naman ito pasok o saklaw ng budget deliberations ng Senado. These are donations to the government. These are to a large extend off budget items na tinatawag. Pero sumulat na kami at hinihingan namin sila ng proseso at accounting nung nagbigay at utilization dahil bagaman donation siya at hindi mula sa buwis na siningil, public funds pa rin yan at dapat subject to COA pa rin.

QUESTION: Kahapon you mentioned na dapat papanagutin yung dapat involved sa looting pero may isa na nagsabi na parang jinustify lang kung baga sa krimen parang self defense.

FGE: Matter of defense iyon una. Pangalawa, paano magiging survival yung refrigerator, maleta at ice cream hindi naman siguro. Pangatlo, I think it would have been irresponsible for me to say as a public official, "Okay lang na magnakaw, okay lang na mag looting." Under any circumstances you have to expect your public officials to say na "hindi tama yun, mail yun" hindi dapat gawin iyon. Now if the DOJ will prosecute them or not that's a different story. But I don't think any public officials can or should say, "Pag may kalamidad sa lugar ninyo okay lang na magnakaw kayo, okay lang na mag looting kayo walang magdedemanda sa inyo walang huhuli sa inyo." I don't think we're in the position to say that and I don't think we should say that. And if only to restore peace and order in that area at the soonest possible time, we should not give any indication that it is being tolerated or will be tolerated in the future.

QUESTION: Sa 2014 budget magkakaroon ng item na pangalan Visayas rehabilitation?

FGE: That's what we're trying to do right now.

QUESTION: That would be around 10 billion?

FGE: Ballpark figure which we are trying to carve from the budget.

QUESTION: You mentioned earlier baka kailangan niyo increase yung calamity fund. That would be how much sir?

FGE: Actually hindi baka, malamang sa malamang i-increase na yun. Just from the letters of some senators na doon nila ipinalalagay yung original pdaf proposal ng malakanyang lalaki na definitely iyon to the tune of at least as of now 600 to 800 million at a minimum. Assuming wala pa kaming ika-carve out sa ibang portions ng budget which we intend to do.

QUESTION: Anong target niyo na maging halaga ng calamity fund?

FGE: Tingnan muna namin kung magkano yung total na pwede naming i-carve out dahil we have to fund two items, the Visayas rehabilitation fund and the calamity fund of the President for coming and future calamities that might hit the country in 2014.

QUESTION: Pero lahat ng ito ay mangyayari doon na sa debate ng budget? Wala nang anything na manggagaling sa DBM? May sinasabi si Senate President na may proposal pa dapat coming from DBM.

FGE: We coordinated with the DBM last week about this. Actually sa kalagitnaan ng Yolanda tinake up ko na ito kay Secretary Abad kaugnay ng mga items sa 2014 budget na pwede naming i-carve out para sa Visayan rehabilitation fund bugso ng earthquake at bagyong Yolanda.

QUESTION: Pero kayo-kayo na ba yun, nothing will come from DBM na?

FGE: Inputs will definitely come from the DBM too, because the last thing we want is for us to propose a fund only to be vetoed by the President. So we're trying to get their inputs as well even at this early stage.

QUESTION: Ano po yun sarili niyong effort para tulungan yun mga nasalanta?

FGE: Personal na iyun, naniniwala pa rin ako sa kasabihan na hindi dapat alam ng kanang kamay ang ginagawa ng kaliwa kung may tulong ka man na ibinibigay.

QUESTION: May rehab po ba sa Zamboanga?

FGE: Pinag-aaralan din namin yun. Yung Santi at Zambo marahil ilalagay na lamang namin yun na special provision yun mula sa calamity at contingent fund ng President sa 2014 kung kinakailangan pa. Pero hindi maipagkakaila kakaiba talaga yung naranasan storm surges sa Yolanda at kakaiba talaga yung 7.2 na lindol na kailangan na mabigyan ng special attention.

QUESTION: Yung magiging covered ng rehab fund pati pabahay or housing?

FGE: That's what we're looking at. Pero malamang hindi kakayanin na gobyerno lamang ang gagawa, marahil may mga partners na pwedeng makipagtulungan ang gobyerno which we will consult too specifically Gawad Kalinga and/or Habitat for Humanity in so far as the houses is concerned.

QUESTION: May nag respond na ba sa inyo doon sa moratorium proposal?

FGE: Maghahain kami ng resolution sa araw na ito urging both government and private financial institutions to grant such a debt moratorium. Urging lang kami, napag aralan na namin. Hindi pwedeng magpasa ng batas. Sinubukan na yang gawin noong panahon ni dating Pangulong Osmena. Nagpasa siya ng Executive Order, ang Kongreso pagkatapos nun nagpasa ng batas na nagdedeklara ng moratorium kaugnay nung giyerang naganap sa bansa, World War II. Ang problema ang sabi ng Korte Suprema, dinesisyunan yung batas na yun, unconstitutional daw primarily because it impairs the obligation of contracts, that's our reservation yesterday. So instead of a law or a bill, we simply file a resolution to urge them, sana manguna yung gov't institutions dito tulad ng Landbank, DBP, PAG-IBIG, GSIS, at SSS.

QUESTION: Sir, dito sa resolution, ilang taon yung proposal ninyo?

FGE: Ayokong mapasok dun sa resolusyon ng korte na bawal na. So it's actually voluntary in part of these agencies, but at least for them to consider it, they will be in a better position to say. Anuman ang mabigay nila, tulong pa rin yun maski na papaano at bawas pa rin yun sa dinadanas nung tinamaan ng bagyo't lindol. Buwan, taon, pag naglagay ako ng tatlong taon malay mo gusto nila limang taon, saying din.

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